Only Fools Fall In Love (Last Letter, First Word)


You get the phone call from your best friend saying he's driven into a ditch, and only once you're 30min. outside of town does he call back saying, "April Fools!" Hilarious.

Almost as brilliant, waking up from a startling noise to feel your hair tied to the bed by your comedy genius brother, "April Fools!" Yeah. Ok. Mind-boggling hilarity. And thus everybody gets the chance one day a year to be as annoying as underdeveloped adolescent pranksters and sociopathic magicians.

Even if you haven't experienced the sardonic bliss of April 1st, there's no lack in this life of feeling like a fool and, as with all things, it is never felt so deeply as in our attempts to love.

The caricature of Jesus on the cross, God's love gruesomely appeasing God's justice for you, would then make him the ultimate fool, the sick joke of the cosmos:

He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off— and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true. Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain...

Here, the supreme irony of the Giver-of-All-Life dying for those who have no relationship is as far as we get. You are better off only giving to others if it helps yourself, only sacrificially loving to promote the tragic flicker of humanity on space's unfeeling void. When we laugh, it's the laugh of a madman.

The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.

This is a mockery of God's expression of himself since the beginning of time, and Jesus -God's complete expression- took that twist as far as it could go -even farther!- with the incomprehensible irony of his resurrection: Death died.

they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?”

Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back—it was a huge stone—and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.

He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty.

Shame glorified:

And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

Now THAT is hilasterion -the word used by early witnesses to describe this amazing event, a greek word sharing the same root as our "hilarious!" It literally means "mercy seat," the place where mercy is given.

When the first witnesses of his resurrection "went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them... they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." But, unlike April Fools, the shock was only the beginning of this profound act, Easter's Love: Peter fairly exploded with his good news: ... “And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn’t put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we’re not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets.”


Scene this Sunday

People around the world are dialed into these particular passages this week, praying, being challenged by, and responding to this scene.

 

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