I’ve always found it funny when Easter falls on April Fools’ Day. After all, the Resurrection is the biggest joke God has ever pulled on us. Just when we think Christ is dead, and hope is lost, and life will only get worse, we all just go back to watching the television or eating dinner or scrolling through our social media feeds. Then someone comes and tells us that the tomb is empty. It’s so unbelievable that we almost choke on our lasagna from Carlino’s.
"It can’t be!” we say to ourselves. “Fake News!” Folks just don’t come back from the dead. That’s not how things happen. But secretly we wonder if it’s true. We want it to be true. We need it to be true. And in our anguished longing that it could be true, we take in a deep breath, in hopes that the extra oxygen will fill not just our lungs, but our spirits as well. And then we hold the breath we’ve gathered, waiting to see if CNN will offer BREAKING NEWS to confirm it.
Our world can seem pretty short on hope most days. The global order that has existed since the end of World War II is dramatically changing. Totalitarianism is on the rise again. Politicians in our own country have encouraged deep cultural divisions. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. Our youth are massacred in their own schools. Our elderly struggle with the labors of age and chronic illness. It would be easy to think the world’s not moving toward a better day.
But if it is true, if the Resurrection has happened, then God has gotten the last laugh. If Jesus really is risen, then hope aboundeth yet. And nothing can be the same, including us. I believe that it’s true. I plan to live and work like it’s true. I hope you will too. And while I’ll admit that I’m more a Doubting Thomas than an over-eager Simon Peter, I’m trusting that the last word belongs to God alone; and that word is not death, but life.
So in the face of all that is broken in this world, if that doesn’t make you want to laugh till you cry, I don’t know what will.