Easter makes a fool of Death, Despair and Hate

Making a fool of Death, Despair and Hate

On the morning of April 1st, many people were torn between sharing one of two greetings: ‘Happy Easter!’ and ‘April Fool!’ – one in celebration of the world-changing resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the other a shout of triumph that we have managed to trick someone with a practical joke.

The April Fool is much beloved of the media. I remember some years ago hearing (and marvelling at the cleverness) of the invention of a rainbow coloured paint. It was announced by Radio Four, so it must be true…

And in 2017, the Liverpool Echo announced that the Royal Mint was to issue 99p coins to help with the planned phasing out of 1p pieces. The ‘I’ newspaper revealed the planned reintroduction of third-class train carriages which would be standing only. Fake news, all of these!

There is nothing fake about the news of Jesus’ resurrection. Could a shambolic, terrified group of disciples really have had the courage or the wherewithal to sneak Jesus’ corpse past the soldiers who were stationed at the tomb precisely to guard against any such theft?

Or would these same leaderless disciples who’d seen their friend murdered really risk – and lose – their lives for a story they’d made up, for their own April Fool, if you like?

To add to this, modern scientific searches for Jesus’ body or for another tomb have never found a trace of evidence that Jesus stayed dead.

Jesus’ resurrection makes a fool out of Death. Death has been conquered – that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen, or that it doesn’t hurt for those left behind (deeply) but death is not the end.

God offers us something more.

And Jesus’ resurrection makes a fool out of Despair – the sky turned dark as Jesus died, but his resurrection means that Hope rises triumphant.

At our darkest moments, we can know that the sun will rise again. Hope is always there.

And Jesus’ resurrection makes a fool out of Hate. Jesus was killed as a result of fear, jealousy and hatred. The one who was Love was killed. But he rose again, and love overcomes hate.

So we can say ‘April Fool’ to Death, Despair and Hate. And a happy, happy, joy-unbounded Easter to us all.

Because Life lives. Hope persists. And Love Wins.

May you know the truth of this in your lives, this Easter and for evermore.


Rev Em Coley

This article first appeared in the April 2018 edition of the St Leonard’s Parish Magazine.