Easter Day

April 1, 2018

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.

“And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.”

Let’s just say it!  Today is April Fools’ Day, and today is Easter Day.  For much of the world around us, it is apropos.  The world sees what we are celebrating today as foolish.

Think about it.  We are celebrating the fact that someone who was crucified and died and was buried was raised from the dead.  What’s our proof?  It is a foolish thing to believe.  We do not have a shred of evidence. 

And how convenient!  If Jesus rose from the dead, then there is no body in the tomb.  And we have the word of people who spent several years of their life with Jesus.  They have a vested interest in the resurrection.  It proves that they did not waste the time with someone who was a fraud.

What we believe is complete and utter foolishness…if there is no God.  I am reminded of the words of St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?   For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Indeed what we celebrate here today is foolish to the world.  But, we believe it to be true.  This argument that apostles preached the resurrection of Jesus simply because they did not want to be seen as fools for spending several years of their lives with Jesus only works on a certain level.

This week I read an article on the truth of the resurrection.  In it, the author posits that a logical argument for the truth of the resurrection can be made simply by remembering that the apostles were martyred for their faith.  Saving face only goes so far.   Would someone – would twelve people -- all be willing to die for a lie?  Would they have made a pact and not one of them would break it?

And then there is the world that believes we are foolish.  Look at it!  Think about all of the things that we understand to be sin.  Is this world perfect just the way it is?  Can anyone argue that the very people who make this world the way it is are capable of restoring it to perfection?

If you believe that there is a God, then it is not foolish to believe that God would send Jesus to fix the world that we have messed up so badly.  If you believe in God then it is it is not foolish to believe that God could raise someone from the dead.

And if we are foolish enough to believe what we are celebrating today, then we also need to be brave enough to tell others about it.  I began this morning by

re-reading the last verse of the Gospel lesson for today:

“And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.”

This is the real ending to the Gospel of Mark.  Later on, someone added some more verses so that it did not end with the apostles not telling anyone about the resurrection.  Obviously they did, because we are here today.

We are indeed branded as fools by the world because of our belief.  So it is apropos that today is April Fools’ Day.  But are we brave enough to share this faith to a world that believes we are fools?  AMEN.