We are “children of the resurrection”

In His dispute with the Sadducees about the resurrection, Jesus makes an unusual statement: "...they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection " (Luke 20:36). What is the meaning of "children [literally 'sons'] of the resurrection"?

"Child of x," refers to direct descent when x is the name of a person. When x is an object or quality, however, "child of x" indicates that the person so described has some relationship with x or has the quality of x.

For instance, Jesus called James and John "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17), perhaps because of their lightning-quick tempers or their thunderously loud voices. The apostles nicknamed Joseph "Barnabas" (Aramaic for "son of encouragement") for his outstanding characteristic. Other examples are in Matt. 23:15, John 12:36, and 1 Thess. 5:5.

What, then, does it mean for us Christians to be "children of the resurrection"? It means that to be raised to everlasting life has become part of our nature, our genetically programmed spiritual destiny. Yes, the potential is there that we could pervert God's intention for our new life in Christ, but the wonder is that we could be saved at all, weak and stumbling as we are. God has made provision for our weakness, not to give us an excuse to sin more, but to encourage us to hold on to Jesus (1 John 2:1-2). Just hold on and keep the faith. When this brief life is over, the new will begin.

But to be "children of the resurrection" also means something for right now. It means God intends our present existence to be characterized by vitality, power, and, well, joy. Jesus says that everyone who believes in Him - who really and fully commits and submits to Him - has eternal life now. Such believers have already crossed over from death into life (John 5:24). Their present life is a resurrection kind of living.

Children of the resurrection! It's exciting for later, but also motivating us to live for Him right now.

—Steve Singleton