Five Points Blog
- Brent Nelson
- May 25, 2012
In Mark 12:18 the Sadducees take their turn at publicly vilifying our Lord Jesus Christ. They sought to stump him on the resurrection. As a group, the Sadducees did not believe such a miracle would occur. Yet they knew Jesus taught the truth of the resurrection. So to humiliate him, they create a fictional scenario where seven brothers each pass the same widow down to the next as they die. Then they ask him, “In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be?”
They mean to mock the resurrection. It seems absurdly unworkable to them. How could something they had never seen, a dead person rise, be true of all who follow Christ? But Christ publicly calls them out as wrong, because they “…know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (v.24).
The Sadducees knew not the Scriptures in that they assumed marriage continued into heaven. It does not. Human marriage is a temporary shadow that gives way to the brilliant, everlasting light of our marriage to Christ, our husband in heaven. The Sadducees overlooked the Old Testament texts that show God to be Israel’s husband (Hosea 2, Ezekiel 16, Song of Songs, et al). And now their heavenly Husband stands before them.
Neither did they know the power of God. When He declared Himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he means, that to be their God implies they will never die. God will so sustain life, that death is defeated for all who are His. If God has the power to keep Israel’s patriarchs alive, he has power to raise and keep the dead alive. This is the power the Sadducees got wrong.
Beloved ones, put away all naturalistic and man-centered ways of thinking. Lay hold of the hope that arises from the Scriptures and the life-giving, dead-raising power of God in Jesus Christ!
Amazed at His Power,