Jesus responds: Sorry to disappoint you. The resurrection, which is God’s world after this world, is a whole new world. The afterlife is not merely an extension of this world, with all its established arrangements and institutions. Nope…the next world is different. Our hope cannot be in ourselves or our achievements, or even in the families that we leave behind. Our hope, said Jesus, is simply that God gets what God wants. Our eternity is God at last setting right what has been wrong.
If we have no sense of God’s final victory, and if we lack faith in God’s ability to create, then what can we do in the face of death? Should we just evade and indulge in wishful thinking? I think Jesus wants us to pay less attention on speculation on where the deceased will go. He wants us to focus on envisioning a new heaven and a new earth. And he also wants us to realize that our eternal hope isn’t just for the individual. Our hope is corporate. It incorporates God’s entire creation.
The bottom line is this…We believe that the same God who has so relentlessly and ceaselessly loved us in this life shall love us in the next. Therein lies our hope. Take that, you Sadducees!