April 1st is a day of pranks. Commonly referred to as April Fools’ Day, there have been some good pranks. Maybe you’ve done a few yourself. I’ll share a few famous April Fools’ Day pranks before sharing what I believe is the best April Fools’ joke ever.
Some great April Fools’ jokes.
I thought my friend Billy was clever in the third grade when he put a frog in Mrs. Pratt’s desk. She didn’t find it very funny. Some jokes are like that.
In 1957 the BBC broadcast Swiss farmers harvesting spaghetti from trees. Several viewers called in wanting to know how they could grow spaghetti trees. The answer is the same way you grow money trees.
In 2008 the BBC reported on a newly discovered species of flying penguins. That would be the same species as flying pigs.
Less funny was the false report in 1998 over radio that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino died in a car crash. The prank cost the reporters their jobs.
The best April Fools’ joke ever.
But the honor for the best April Fools’ Joke ever belongs to God and Easter which is why Easter Sunday’s falling on April 1 is so appropriate. Think about it.
The religious leaders were convinced they had won. Guards were posted at the tomb. A royal seal was melted across the stone. No one was going to perpetrate a hoax and steal Jesus body away. They would not be April Fools. But the joke was on these religious leaders. They truly were fools. Nothing could stop the High King of Heaven from bursting out of the grave. Jesus rose from the dead.
The tables turned on those who thought to trick people into believing Jesus was dead. Guards were bribed to lie, but nothing could contain the truth. Terrified ordinary men were transformed into powerful messengers of this resurrection truth. They would be tortured and killed not for a lie – but for the powerful truth of Easter. Paul would encounter the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus and transform from murderer to messenger. Lies don’t do that.
“The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Ps. 14:1. Today, many believe Christians suffer from a cruel April Fools’ joke. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:18. But the truth of the resurrection is evident in history and continues to be lived out in the lives of believers today.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Cor. 1:27. That’s me. That means I am God’s April Fool. If you believe in the resurrection, then you are his April Fool too.
Living as April Fools
Throughout history men and women of faith have done foolish things to advance God’s kingdom. They started schools and hospitals. Christians cared about justice and loving neighbors. They stood with the weak, recognizing they are weak.
I hope you can come to Restore 117 to hear from many of these April Fools. My friend Chris Purnell is one. He will put out a clear call for a Biblical understanding of justice. Be prepared to be challenged.
My friend Michelle Warren will help us understand what it means for us to live as April Fools. She will share from her book The Power of Proximity– read some of my review.
Join these April Fools and other Jesus Fools from across the country at Restore 117. Don’t let the truth of Easter get lost in the day to day routines. God fooled the leaders. He fools people today who think money and power define a person. God uses foolish and weak people to confound the wise. He uses you.
Join Jesus in his justice mission. Come hear powerful speakers at Restore 117 and get equipped to make a difference in your community. Join us June 8-9 at Judson University in Elgin, IL. Bring your friends. Come answer God’s call to do justice. Be a fool for Jesus as you dare to do justice.