Has anyone else found it odd that Easter falls on the same day as April Fool's this year? I don't remember it every happening like this before - or maybe I was just too young to understand the strange coinciding of two complete opposite holidays. It has got me thinking, though...
As we read the story of Jesus' life and ministry in the Gospels, it's evident that the religious leaders of His time were furious about His spreading fame. The miracles He performed, the authority with which He spoke, the way the people flocked to Him - it all was unnerving for them. Of course, their hatred for the things Jesus was doing was driven by Satan himself.
They knew that they had to get rid of this man called Jesus, a man who claimed to be one with God (John 10:30). They created a plot to kill Him, using Judas Iscariot as their "insider" to get to Him.
While Jesus and eleven of His disciples were praying in the Garden, the capture began. I can only imagine what Satan must have been thinking and feeling. Finally, we will kill Jesus, God robed in flesh, and we will destroy the kingdom of God on this earth.
The people rallied with the religious leaders and demanded that Jesus be crucified. They beat Him and spit in His face. They mocked Him and stripped Him of His clothes. The shame, rejection, pain, and agony of His trial and crucifixion was more than any of us could really bear to imagine.
As the song says, Satan gleamed with pleasure that day at Calvary, for He thought He had won a mighty victory. And like him, all of the demons of hell began to cheer. But little did they know, that their end was drawing near...
Yes, little did they know that three days later, the tables would turn, and the "joke" would be on them.
On the morning of the third day, some of the women went to the tomb where they laid Jesus, but found it empty! Imagine the shock and that gripping sense of panic they must have felt. This was their Lord, and not only had He died a horrible death, but now His body was gone!
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.
...'Cause early Sunday morning, just like Jesus said, He broke the curse of sin and death, and He rose up from the dead. Now we have a new beginning in a kingdom that has no ending! Hallelujah, hallelujah!
So, while it is a bit odd that Easter falls on this April 1st, 2018, maybe it's a good reminder of the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place.
Ciao for now,