Applied Belief: The greatest April fool

On what we call Good Friday, the Devil, yes there is a Devil, celebrated the death of the man who stated he was God. Jesus hung on a cross and the Devil believed he finally had won.

Since Jesus was born, Satan — the dragon of the book of Revelation — had tried to kill Jesus. “And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she bore her child he might devour it” (Revelation 12:4).

He used men to do this in particular, when Herod ordered the slaughter of all male boys under the age of 2. “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men” (Matthew 2:16).

He tried again when Jesus was alone in the desert. “Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down’” (Matthew 4:5-6).

The Devil failed when Jesus was a child, failed in the desert, and attempted many times during Jesus’ ministry, using the leaders of the day. Time after time he was disappointed and frustrated, being the “prince of the power of the air” but not having the power to murder his arch nemesis.

Then Jesus went to the cross of Calvary. As the nails pierced his ankle joint and his wrists, Satan celebrated. When Jesus breathed his last, as the earth shook, the Devil had a party. When Jesus was buried, the celebration continued for Satan and his minions. Saturday came, and Jesus was still in the tomb; dead. “Finally,” Satan must have thought.

Jesus was dead. The disciples were hiding. Victory for the Evil one. Or so he thought.

Sunday morning, the Devil must have looked up to heaven shaking his fist in a victorious pose that is until Satan went to the tomb and found it empty. He heard the words of the Angels: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen” (Luke 24:5b-6a).

The joke was on Satan. There would be no lasting celebration of death. Jesus was alive and because of that, the Devil would forever be a defeated foe.

While we don’t know the exact date of that Resurrection Sunday, we can say today on April 1, 2018, that this was the greatest April Fools pulled in the history of mankind.

And while Wikipedia states that it is a day for jokes and hoaxes. This is no hoax at all. This is very much the truth. Jesus is alive, the tomb is empty, and we can celebrate in earnest for this is the greatest news of all.

 

 

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About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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