April’s Fool Day is a day which is recognized as a day for practical jokes and hoaxes. Traditionally the originator of the practical joke would reveal himself or herself after the victim has taken the bait and gleefully declare “April Fool!” and no, they are not referring to themselves. My bride is a master at this and over the years I have fallen prey to her talents. In my defense, part of the reason why I make such an easy mark is that often I would forget what day it was and my defenses would be down. The other reason is that as my bride, she knows my weaknesses and where my buttons are so I am an easy target for her. I can’t help but think that on Easter, when Jesus rose from the grave, He played the ultimate April Fool’s joke on Satan. Imagine that you have been waiting for centuries for the Messiah to arrive and your goal has been to destroy Him. You plot and scheme; plan and lie; and you entice and manipulate people to help you. At last you sit gleefully watching as His body is nailed to a cross and you watch Him take His last breath. You cry “victory!” and you inform your minions it is time to celebrate on a cosmic scale. You have won, the Messiah is dead. The celebrations stretch from hours to days. Sunday morning you are tired from all the revelry but your heart is still aglow. Suddenly you hear words that make the blood in your veins turn cold. You hear the question, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) You realize that the tomb is empty and stand there on shaking legs thinking “this can’t be, I saw Him die”; Jesus comes on the scene and with a smile says “April Fool!” “You thought you had won but your victory was an illusion. You thought you could defeat me but I am the Resurrection and the Life, the grave cannot hold me! You are the ultimate April Fool.” Those of us who have professed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are empowered to make the same declaration to Satan. There are times in our lives when we feel like we are being buried under stress, affliction, and a plethora of reasons to despair. In those times Satan is again smiling because he thinks he has beaten us. We are empowered to turn to him and say “April Fool! I am a child of God! You have nothing on me. My sins He has erased; my weakness He has made strong; my shame He has turned to joy.”
May God grant you an April that is filled with promise and opportunity to share His love and message.