I have some sympathy for the Sadducees,
for whom there was no resurrection.
They believed that this grounding place
of dust, decay, wind and uncertainty,
was where the true action was;
not in some future and otherworldly realm
where the dead are revived, renewed,
resuscitated and raised to somehow
continue the privileged work of living.
When the body dies, so does the soul.
Angels and other spiritual entities?
They simply don’t exist. Reward or
punishment beyond the grave? Forget it!
It’s what happens here that counts.
They, too. were Jews, these Sadducees:
children of Abraham who took their faith seriously.
They shared the Pharisees’ insistence
that the law must be obeyed,
and that the well-being of the nation depended upon it.
In the temple’s courts one day, these sceptics
enjoyed a spirited debate with one, Jesus,
an untrained teacher from the north.
According to the testimony of gospel-writing
historians, the itinerant rabbi clearly took the points.
Nearby scribes, they also tell us, were deeply
impressed by the power of his arguments,
and concurred. Some of us heretics, however,
are still considering the matter.
© 2010 Ken Rookes
Another poem responding to this passage can be found here