Devotional Reading: Mark 24:1-12
For the first time since 1956 April Fool’s Day and Easter falls on the same day. Someone unfamiliar with Christianity might think that Easter is the biggest April Fool’s hoax ever.
The disciples didn’t believe the women when they came back from the Tomb saying that Jesus was alive that first Easter morning. The apostle Paul, reflecting upon the story of Easter, wrote that it is a stumbling block to some and sheer foolishness to others. (I Corinthians 1:23) But “Who is the biggest fool?”
Maybe the biggest fool was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. He could have stopped the crucifixion. By all indications he wanted to, but didn’t. After interrogating Jesus he said, “I find no crime in this man”. Compounding his doubts was a troubling dream his wife had about Jesus. She warned her husband to stay out of it (Matthew 27:19). But did he listen? No. He was too weak to resist public opinion. He ceremonially washed his hands and declared that Jesus’ blood was not on his hands. But history judged differently. The stain of Jesus’ blood is on Pilate’s hands and our hands when we value the opinion of the crowd above God . ” What does it profit a person,” Jesus said, “to gain the whole world and lose their soul”?
Maybe the biggest fool was Caiaphas who valued political expediency over justice when he declared that it was better for one man to die for the many than for the many to die for one man. What difference does innocence make in the greater scheme of things? .
Maybe the disciples were the biggest fools. They scattered like sheep, just as Jesus said that they would. None of them, save possibly one, was at the Cross.
Mark’s Easter story has been called the unsatisfactory gospel. It originally ended with women telling no one what they saw or heard. Subsequent writers added two different endings. But I think that Mark meant to keep us in suspense for the story of Easter didn’t really end 2000 years ago. The story is continued by us. The story of Easter calls upon us to be foolish enough to take Jesus seriously. We may not know what the Future holds but we do know this, the Resurrected One waits for us in “Galilee”. No matter what the Future holds, we cannot escape either His claim upon our lives.
Lord, make us an Easter people. Amen.