Summary: Easter Day and April 1st doesn't coincide very often but it has a valuable lesson for us in that God's wisdom in raising Jesus from the dead corrects forever the foolishness of mankind.
EASTER Wisdom - April 1st!?
'Who says God doesn't have a sense of humour!' Twitter erupts with hilarious posts about the fact that Easter Day falls on the same day as April Fool's day - while Ash Wednesday is on Valentine's Day.
But we all like a joke, a laugh - life would be very boring if we didn’t see the funny side of life and most importantly laugh at ourselves!
On April 1st 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled.
While Easter has only fallen exactly on April 1 a handful of times in past years including, 1850, 1866, 1877, 1888, 1923, 1934, 1945 and 1956 - It won't happen again until 2029.
Easter is the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and Easter Sunday is a moveable feast tending to fall in early to mid April, and occasionally at the end of March.
Easter occurs at the same time as the Jewish Passover
and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the spring equinox.
April Fool's Day, celebrated on April 1, has been observed in some form since the ancient Romans, who had a holiday set aside for such jokes and pranks.
The holiday typically occurred around the time of the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, signalling a change from the dark days of winter to the cheery days of spring.
When these two meet as they do today, Easter and April Fools days, we see an irony that has been around since time began.
Easter for me represents the Wisdom of God manifested in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
April fools day represents the foolishness of mankind in believing that they are self-sufficient in their own devices and resources… we are too cleaver for our own good.. so we think.
So today we see this irony played out for us when Easter Day falls on April 1st.
Easter the Wisdom of God is shown to us in the most powerful way, the out pouring of God’s love in giving His only Son to die on the cross for us and His glorious resurrection.
But the foolishness is seen even in this as St Paul say’s, ‘we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles’ (1Cor. 1:23).
The foolishness is due to superficially coming to a conclusion when we do not know all the facts.
But the wisdom as Paul realised is quite simple: ‘but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’ (1Cor. 1:24-25)
Mere words you might say, even playing with words – but where is the foundation of all this? - this is where Paul comes in again.
St Paul has a habit of arguing with himself – he comes up with a statement or question and then answers it.
For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Christ is the answer - The Risen Christ is Our Hope! This is the wisdom of God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead as the first fruits of them that slept in death.
The foolishness of mankind is in alienating itself from God but God steps in to put it right, to bring mankind back to Himself.
If ever there was evidence of the wisdom of God all we have to do is to open our eyes on His world and see the how our foolishness has corrupted it:
• Nature and its beauty created perfect but marred and corrupted by our misuse and negligence
• Peace – Oh where is there peace in our world with warring factions in many parts of the world and what are they trying to achieve?
• And where is hope,
• There are so many examples of our foolishness
Hope is the essence of life itself, it gives purpose and meaning, something to aim for, a goal in life.
After all a life without hope is no life at all.
Hope helps us to over-come the barriers that we face day by day, dare I say that hope defeats depression which so many suffer today.
Peter in the opening to his 1st letter says it all:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1Peter 1:3)