“And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” (Mark 12:26)
The Sadducees were the “liberal” party of Judah’s leaders. They wanted to expose Jesus as an unscholarly and unskilled teacher who was unable to answer difficult theological issues. They did not believe in any form of resurrection, so they concocted a story about a woman who had been widowed seven times. Mosaic law demanded that a brother of the deceased husband marry the widow and name the firstborn son after the husband who died “that his name be not put out of Israel” (Deuteronomy 25:6).
This fictitious story was designed to trap Jesus in an unsolvable problem. The Sadducees said, “Last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore . . . whose wife of shall she be of them?” (Mark 12:22-23). They got much more than they sought. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30).
Two major doctrines are clarified by Jesus’ response. “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32).
The proof of the resurrection rests on the tense of the Greek verb “to be.” Scripture is accurate and authoritative even to the minute detail of verb tenses. HMM III
From Days of Praise