Christ Proved the Resurrection by a Single Verb Tense in Scripture

By Andrew Davis, Senior Pastor

In my last post on Christ’s view of Scripture, we saw how Christ proved his deity by a single word in Psalm 110, “adonai.” In like manner, Jesus proved the resurrection from the dead by a single verb tense in a famous passage of Scripture. The Sadducees, a group of religious experts during the time of Jesus who denied the resurrection from the dead, came to Jesus with a test case in an effort to prove that there can be no resurrection. After dealing with their ridiculous example, Jesus proves the resurrection from the account of the burning bush and Moses’ call:

“But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matt 22:31–32).

Notice how powerfully Jesus applies ancient Scripture to his contemporary audience: “Have you not read what God said to you.” Amazing! Even though it was God speaking to Moses in the original event, when Moses sat down to write about that event, it was God timelessly speaking to every generation who would read that account. So, it is for us in the twenty-first century: we are reading what God has said to us!

Also, notice how subtly Christ proves the resurrection by the verb clause: “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”—not, “I was …” God is not the God of the dead but of the living. That means that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then, are alive apart from the body, awaiting the resurrection, kept alive in God’s presence until the time for the resurrection comes.

Christ’s whole proof of the resurrection in this account amazingly rests on one single present tense verb.

As I have stated in previous posts:

Premise 1: What Jesus believes should be what Christians believe;
Premise 2: Christ’s view of Scripture is that it is the perfect Word of God;
Conclusion: Therefore, all Christians should have the same view of Scripture as Christ’s


Editor’s note: The previous posts in this series on Christ’s view of the Bible can be found by clicking the following links: (1) What is Christ’s View of the Bible?: An Introduction; (2) Christ Would Rather Die than Disobey Scripture; (3) Christ Taught that He Fulfilled Scripture; (4)Christ Taught the Unbreakable Authority & Permanence of Scripture; (5) Christ Lived Sinlessly Moment by Moment  by All Scripture; (6) Christ Staked His Life on the Word of God; and (7) Christ Proved His Deity By a Single Word of Scripture.

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