So in my copious post-Easter free time (ah, the freedom of not having to write four liturgies and two sermons in a one-week span!), I’ve been thinking, (again!) about April Fool’s Day. This was a bit that almost (but not quite) went into the Easter Sunday sermon, so don’t feel too bad if it feels like it should have been preached.
I regret, to some degree, that Easter Sunday was not last weekend. I feel a bit like the Resurrection is God’s April Fool’s joke on the forces of sin and death. “Ah! Gotcha! You thought you had him! Ha! You should see the looks on your evil, hateful faces!” The deal was for death and sin to own the dead – God chumped them. Because a) this guy was God’s own son, part of God’s very Self, and B) because this guy went willingly to the cross, and suffered in silence as a sacrifice for us all, because those things are true, the old agreement is null and void. The Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time has taken sway, and our salvation is assured.
I have a hard time feeling bad for sin and death, just as I have a hard time feeling bad, not for my enemies, but for the self-centeredness, fear, anger, and hate that drive so much of human interaction. The deaths in our daily lives are a result of the ways in which we sin against God and one another, and the promise of God’s great practical joke in the resurrection is that we don’t need to be slaves to any of our sin and death. In Jesus Christ, we can be led forth into new life, and die to our sin, as Paul has said. With John Donne, I say – Death; thou shalt die.
So let’s laugh at death and sin, at the thought that they could ever keep us away from the love of the Creator of the universe. They got schooled by our Master’s holy prank, and, in Jesus Christ, we need never fear their bullying again.