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The fascinating book, The Courtship Of Mr. Lincoln, ends with
these hopeful words of Mary Todd, that great president's devoted
wife--"The only consolation left me, is the certainty, that each day
brings me nearer my loved and lost....I shall not much longer be
separated from my idolized husband, who has only gone before and I
am certain is fondly watching and waiting for our reunion, nevermore
to be separated." We could go on and on quoting the hopes of lovers
through the ages, both great and small. It is a universal conviction
that what the Song of Solomon says about love, is true. In 8:6 it says,
"Love is strong as death," and in verse 7 is says, "Many waters
cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." The context
makes it clear that this is the love of a man and woman. All else may
be washed away in the flood, but love endures forever. Christina
Rossetti expressed the universal hope of lovers in poetryO my love, my dove, lift up your eyes
Toward the eastern gates like an opening rose.
You and I who parted will meet in Paradise
Pass within and sing when the gates unclose.
This life is but the passage of a day,
This life is but a pang and all is over,
But in the life to come which fades not away
Every love shall abide and every lover.
This universal hope would, no doubt, be unquestioned by
Christians were it not for the interference of the skeptical Sadducees,
who asked Jesus the difficult question we read in our text of
Matt.22:23-33. The Sadducees were a sect of the Jews started in 250
B.C. by Sadok, a president of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of
Judaism. They did not believe in any resurrection at all. They knew
they couldn't convince those who believed in a restored paradise to
give up the idea as nonsense, so they tried the next best thing. They
tried to make the idea look so complicated and ridiculous that men