Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, continues his teaching series through the Gospel of Matthew. Hank reads from Matthew 3. He explains that the Sadducee rejected the idea of resurrection, the capstone in the arch of Christianity. If there is no resurrection, says the apostle Paul, then “let’s eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die.” It’s the resurrection that is the highlight of the Christian calendar and the highlight that we fast toward as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of the epicenter of the Christian calendar—Pascha, Easter Sunday. The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed fervently in the resurrection and a coming Messiah, but they also taught that one’s righteousness was predicated on strict obedience of the law. And that was no small thing. The ancient rabbis counted 613 laws to be strictly obeyed—they were a great weight placed upon the people—a weight that no one could really bear, not even the priests themselves. John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers (as did Christ later)—Why? Because those particular religious leaders deceptively and maliciously rejected Christ and attempted to move the people away from following Him. And John warns them, saying “Do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” You may recall that Paul was a Pharisee, but he was utterly transformed in Christ.

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