The Sadducees’ story of the seven-time widowed lady who died childless (Matthew 22:23-33), made sense in a dinner table discussion sort of way. “Afterall,” they would have reasoned, “the idea of seven brothers fighting over the wife that they all had, is as unlikely as God allowing a woman to keep seven husbands in heaven.”
At the end of the day, all that the Sadducees were doing was excusing themselves from any judgement before God. For them, the simplest way to avoid accountability for their greed for power and money was to deny any existence of a conscious afterlife.
Tragically, nothing has changed. It broke my heart to bury a man who used to say, “When you die, you’re dead—that’s it!” I know he believed in God, but reconciliation with the God he refused to answer to was not on his to-do list.
The older I get the more I understand the restraints that this sin-soaked world puts on our understanding of God. It is not until we understand the sinfulness of our sin before our holy God that we begin to appreciate the wonders of our Saviour. It is only when we see that our lack of godly sorrow is indicative of our lack of appreciation for the crucified Christ, that we catch a glimpse of His absolute love. Such a moment is too much for many. Instead, they retreat into that space where they are assured that their religious acts are what is all important. That is a space to avoid!
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8), and the apostle John shows Who is the Way:
“…we have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him, because we will see him as he really is. Christ is pure, and all who have this hope in Christ keep themselves pure like Christ” (1 John 3:2-3).