By Josh Taylor
The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection of the body, so they want to make a point of how ridiculous they think it is. They give the example of a woman who marries seven men whom all die. Whose wife will she be at the resurrection of the dead?
Jesus quickly shows them that they are on an adventure of missing the point. His critique of them is harsh. Jesus essentially tells them that they don't know the Scriptures or the power of God!
Resurrection is at the heart of Christian faith. Sometimes we end up on adventures in missing the point when it comes to life after death. Our western Christian tradition has often emphasized going to heaven, a picture that conjures up images of harps, angels and fluffy clouds. However, biblically the picture of resurrection is at the heart of what it means for God to restore his creation, when we miss this its often because we also don't get the Scriptures or the power of God!
On this passage Tom Wright says this:
"Jesus, like the Pharisees in this respect, taught a two-stage 'life after death': first, a time of being 'with God', alive in his presence but not yet re-embodied, and then, after that, the newly embodied life of resurrection itself."
-Tom Wright, Lent for Everyone, Year B, Mark (London, SPCK, 2012), 126.
You may be thinking what on earth? If you are, it just goes to show how much we have been on an adventure of missing the point on this one. If you want to read more about the centrality of resurrection for Christian faith check out these chapters in the Bible:
-1 Corinthians 15
Another great resource to read is a book called "Surprised by Hope" by N.T. Wright. You can check it out here