DOWN IN FRONT
The Foolish Day of Easter
By David W Roach
Ever wonder why Easter never falls on the same day year after year? Before there was an Easter, Jews celebrated Passover on the evening of the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox; that day when the Sun crosses the Equator on its journey north. Later on, Christians decided to celebrate Easter on the nearest Sunday to Passover because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. And so it is that we determine the Sunday of Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox, which this year falls on April Fools Day, which only seems appropriate.
People who don’t believe in Jesus regard the crucifixion of Jesus as somewhat foolish. The Apostle Paul wrote, “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.”
The word Paul uses for “foolishness” is moria in Greek. In the singular form moria is moron, as in, “You guys are a bunch of morons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” Everywhere the disciples of Jesus proclaimed the death and resurrection of Jesus, the people shook their heads and muttered, “What a bunch of morons. People who die don’t come back to life.”
But not everyone thought the disciples of Jesus were morons. Here and there, the disciples found folks who believed and those few spread the word with confiction and energy in spite of the name calling.
It takes courage to believe what many people think is foolishness. We want people to like us. We have smart phone apps with LIKE buttons. We measure our worthiness by how many LIKE's we receive and nothing makes us feel more foolish than posting a selfie that no one LIKE's.
When Jesus died on the cross, there were few people around who still liked him. His disciples ran away and hid. Those who stayed with Jesus were helpless to do anything. In the words of the prophet, “He was despised and rejected.” If anyone was placing bets on the future of the Christian movement the odds weren’t good.
We who believe, however, can see the wisdom of it. God made what the world regarded as foolish the path to eternal life.
The calculation of Easter Sunday may seem foolish, but that’s because Easter Sunday isn’t about a day of the year. Easter Sunday is about a spiritual moment in history; a moment when God broke forever the power of sin and death; a moment when God declared an end to fear and the start of the reign of love.
So let the world think that Easter is foolish. That’s just the way it’s going to be because there will always be people who can’t see a good thing even when it’s right in front of them.