Then come to him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,…
A new class of antagonists now assail the great "Master" with a case of casuistry, designed evidently to bring the doctrine of the resurrection into contempt. "In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of them?" Was this one of the flimsy, difficulties on which they relied for a defense of their position, as so often men screen their scepticism behind a mere veil of difficulty? And did they depend in any real degree upon an imaginary inconsistency to warrant them in denying the grandest hopes of the human heart? Be it so or not, they gave opportunity for the most precious defense of the common faith. The Church to-day is rich in an inheritance of defensive writing drawn from the pens of holy apostles and righteous men. But though it is of unspeakable value to her to read the inestimable words of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, yet to them who have wholly committed themselves to Jesus, who truly own him as "Master," and no other, it is most comforting to find him entering the lists against all Sadducean unbelief for all ages. It is enough: Jesus is the defender of the faith. We want no more. In one sentence we read both an answer to the difficulty and a confirmation of the truth: "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven." Thus is clearly revealed -
(1) The fact of the resurrection; and
(2) the conditions of the resurrection life.
I. The first clear teaching is, THE DEAD LIVE. "That the dead are raised even Moses showed;" so little had these sons of Moses understood his words. And now Jesus shows it more clearly, and points to the life as an immortal life: "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." True, this is affirmed of them "that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead." But that "the dead" - that is, all the dead - "are raised Moses showed, as touching the dead that they are raised." Oh, precious words! Thanks be to God, life does not end in a tomb I Abraham and Isaac and Jacob live; yea, "all live unto him," if unto us they die. Jesus points to the source of all error on this as on so many subjects: "Ye know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God." On these two hang all the true faith of men. No one can read "the Scriptures" and deny the resurrection. In Jesus' view the old Scriptures sufficiently affirmed the great truth. And he who in these days would defend himself against the assaults of unbelief must sit at the feet of Jesus. No one can doubt his belief in the resurrection. "And why is it judged incredible?" All difficulties vanish in presence of "the power of God." If the question of the "foolish one" be urged, "How? - How are the dead raised?" the only answer faith should vouchsafe is, "The power of God." And if the further demand is pressed, but "with what manner of body do they come?" it must still be replied, "God giveth it a body." Let the true believer stand by the Word of God. The resurrection rests not for its certainty on a foundation of human ratiocination or scientific deduction, neither is it by them to be overturned. The one impregnable wall of defense for this most precious article of human faith and this most precious condition of human life is in the combined words, "The Scriptures: the power of God."
II. As to the CONDITION OF THE RESURRECTION LIFE. We wait to know this. One only truth is enough to carry with us, an earnest of all - "as angels in heaven." The truths are almost antiphonal: "Neither can they die any more; as angels in heaven." - G.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,