Jesus showed that he not only answered the question posed to him, but the assumption behind the question. When the Sadducees came inquiring about marriage in the resurrection from the dead, Jesus clarified their question by addressing their misunderstanding. They assumed that the marriage on earth would carry over in some form after the resurrection, but Jesus clarified that it won’t. Paul also addressed this in Romans 7, when he declared that the marriage covenant is ended at the time of the death of one of the spouses. This is how a widow(er) can remarry afterwards, without being an adulterer. Jesus compared those in the resurrection to angels, who neither marry nor are given in marriage. The Sadducees tried to interpret the resurrection through the lens of their earthly existence. Jesus revealed to them that they had erred in their reasoning.
It is interesting how often people in our culture assume that earthly relationships will continue after death. Yet Jesus indicates that those familial relationships will be transformed. Yet, for us to not have some emotional connection with our spouse or grief over not being married any longer, some significant changes will need to take place in our life and memories, because our memories do arouse our emotions. On earth spouses become one flesh and man is instructed not to separate what God has joined together, yet in the resurrection, they will be separate. How will that take place?
From observing Jesus after his resurrection it is clear we will experience life at a higher level than we do now on earth. Our understanding will be greater. From glimpses of Jesus’ life after his resurrection, we can see that we will interact with the physical world differently. Jesus appeared and disappeared to his disciples on various occasions. If these changes were true with Jesus, then it is reasonable to speculate that our emotional make-up and relationships will also be raised to a higher level. So that the memories of our existence on earth will have a different emotional impact on us than they do now.
Jesus’ instruction on life in the resurrection indicates that our existence at that time will be significantly different from how we experience life now. That knowledge should and must influence how we live now, with an understanding that there is always opportunity for growth now, because our anticipation of our future impacts how we live in the present. What we need to remember is that our future extends eternally past life as we know it on earth. That future as well should impact how we live today. Jesus reminds us that the life that we now live is not perpetual, but will end one day and be transformed into a very different life for us.