Easter and God’s Laughter
Written by Matt Benton, Pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Woodbridge, VA.
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.” – Psalm 2:1-6
We conspired. We plotted. We counseled together. We hatched a plot. We arrested the Innocent One. We tortured the Prince of Peace. We killed the Lord of Life. We hung the Holy One of God on a tree. We shouted curses and jeers at the Blessed One. We crucified Jesus of Nazareth.
God came into the world and we cried “NO!” We told God that this was our world and we were content to be our own kings and rulers. And we shoved God out as loudly and as violently as we could.
But today isn’t a day for remorse. Today isn’t a day for sorrow. Today isn’t a day for grieving.
Today is a day for laughter!
CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! God shouts this day that God’s Son is the King of Zion. And He has been raised from the dead. He has been raised to live and to reign forever and ever. God has set His Son in the highest place. God has defeated death. God has defeated sin. God has defeated evil. Forever and ever, Amen!
And in so doing God has exposed sin, death, and evil for what they are: losers. Things defeated. Things finished. Sin will not define us. Death will not hold us captive. And evil has no power where Jesus reigns.
This is our victory. This is our celebration!
So, we also laugh. We laugh at the sin that had so long ensnared us. We laugh at death that once held pompous sway. We say, “where O death is your victory?” (Paul’s version of shouting “SCOREBOARD!”) We laugh at the principalities and powers that thought they could defeat our God. We laugh at any notion that our God could be outdone by evil.
Our God wins! Our God reigns! Our God is the victory!
Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
And ours is the victory. God’s Yes in Jesus is God’s Yes to us, a yes that says we are loved (any notion that you aren’t lovable is laughable). A yes that says we are not forsaken (any notion that says we are alone is laughable). A yes that says we are God’s children and heirs (any notion that says God doesn’t love us is laughable). A yes that says God is with us forever and we shall be with God forever (any notion that says we are condemned is laughable). A yes that says God will redeem every bit of us until we are who God has always made us to be (any notion that says our past will forever define us is laughable).
Laugh today. Celebrate today. Be joyous and raucous and boisterous today. Because Jesus is Risen. And God is laughing.