Summary: A message given Easter Sunday in 2018 when it also fell on April Fools Day.
Welcome to Church today! Do you like dumb riddles? I do. While you are turning to John 3:16, let’s see if you are awake!
Why did the Easter egg hide? He was a little chicken!
What do you call a rabbit with fleas? Bugs Bunny!
What do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole? A hot cross bunny!
How do bunnies stay healthy? Eggercise!
John 3:16–21 NIV
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Welcome to the 32 Second of March! Well, that is a possible explanation for April fools day. The English Poet Chaucer possibly wrote that as joke, because most people realize there is no March 32. (Well except for the people on the back row). So, some people think that may be how April fools day got started.
Another explanation for April fools day goes back to the time of the Romans. It was called Hilaria! (Get it?) It was during this time of the year, ancient people played pranks in worship to the goddess Cybele. Maybe that’s how it got started.
Yet, a possible third explanation is from the middle ages when the church changed the. The old calendar began its New Year on April 1. Pope Gregory XIII changed the New Year to January 1. Those who celebrated New Years on April 1 were considered fools because they didn’t know which calendar to follow!
Well, for whatever reason, here we are today, Easter and Aprils fools day together! When I first realized that these two holidays were going to fall on the same day I thought the Media was going to have fun making fun of our Christian beliefs. I anticipated mocking of our hope in the Resurrection and how we are fools for going to church.
I have to admit, what we proclaim does sound incredible. We actually believe 2000 years ago, a Jew from Palestine named Jesus, from an insignificant town in Palestine, died by Roman Crucifixion, who had committed no crime. Then, He raised from the dead, never to die again and ascended into heaven. The news media, major universities, and Hollywood all consider this foolishness!
To be sure, the Bible concedes, if Jesus didn’t raise from the dead, that we are fools.
1 Cor 15:14 NIV
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
I have a question for you this April Fools Day. What made you roll out of bed this morning? Are you already a believer who has come to worship the risen King or are you here because you are hoping that there is something to believe in? Whether you are here by faith or by hope, I am not playing a prank on you today. We sincerely teach that Jesus conquered death and that we someday are going to do precisely the very same thing. This is based upon the historical reality, and not wishful thinking, that Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah!
Is it foolishness to believe in such things? Many of the most educated in our society think so. Do you know of Richard Dawkins? The evolutionary biologist and author of the book “The God Delusion”. He believes we are fools! Dawkins said that religion is “… capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me . . . a kind of mental illness.”
Ladies and Gentleman, are here today because of mental illness?
Dawkins is considered a rock star in atheist circles. He is called one of the New Atheist. The New Atheist go out of their way to war against Christianity. They repeatedly lump Christianity in with cults, Islamist, and any ideology that believes in a higher power. They see religious people as victims of group think; naive and uneducated individuals that have been duped to believe a lie!
Quoting Dawkins Again,
“Christianity, just as much as Islam, teaches children that unquestioned faith is a virtue. You don't have to make the case for what you believe. If somebody announces that it is part of his faith, the rest of society . . . is obliged . . . to "respect" it without question; respect it until the day it manifests itself in a horrible massacre like the destruction of the World Trade Center, or the London or Madrid bombings.”