Jesus is Risen- No Foolin’!

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25

In case you haven’t noticed, Easter this year falls on April First, April Fool’s day. Perhaps we can think of the resurrection as God’s ultimate joke on the powers of darkness and evil. After all the spiritual forces of darkness and the powers of this world thought they had won the day when Jesus was crucified. They had killed the one who promised to bring life. Instead God turned the tables. The Sanhedrin and Rome had tried to make the tomb secure, putting a seal on the tomb, and posting a guard. But that did not stop God’s plan. Instead we read of an earthquake and angels and an empty tomb, and the Great News Of Easter: Jesus is alive! He has Risen!

Can’t you imagine the smile on Jesus face as He says to the women who were hurrying from the tomb “Greetings” “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me,” (Matt 28: 9-10) Can you picture the secret smile on Jesus face as He walks beside the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, listening as they retell the story of His death, and rumors of the missing body. Can’t you see the grin on His face as he says to the weeping Mary Magdalene, “Mary”!

There is a song by Jamie Owens-Collins with called “The Victor,” with these words:

Swallowed into earth’s dark womb
And death has triumphed
That’s what they say
But tried to hold Him in the tomb
The Son of Life
Rose on the third day

Just look
The gates of hell
They’re falling
Crumbling from the inside out
He’s bursting through
The walls with laughter (Hah!)
Listen to the Angels shout

It is finished
He has done it
Life conquered death
Jesus Christ
Has won it!

Maybe you struggle with the whole idea of Jesus’ resurrection…Certainly first disciples struggled with it; we find them bewildered, they were not expecting a resurrection…they were thinking “game over”…they had lost. At first the Apostles did not believe Jesus was really alive. Luke says that when the woman came back & announced the resurrection, “their words seemed like nonsense.” Maybe the resurrection seems like nonsense to you.

Yet the tomb was empty and the disciples became absolutely convinced, and the early church proclaimed boldly that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead, and the witness of scripture says Jesus appeared “to many, to hundreds over a 40 day period.” The early church was so convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, that no amount of persecution, suffering or even the death, could stop their declaration, “Jesus Christ is Risen”!!!

The resurrection is God’s announcement of victory over the powers of hell, sin and death. In the cosmic battle between good and evil, the decisive battle has now been won. In the book of Revelation, this is how Jesus describes Himself: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:18) By His resurrection Jesus Christ proclaims Himself Victor over hell and death! All of the forces of evil, all of the demons of hell, could not keep Jesus in the grave! So laugh out loud this Easter…then go tell someone else God’s ultimate April fool’s joke: Jesus is risen!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Debbie