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. 1 Corinthians 1:18
This year Palm Sunday falls on 1st April, April fool’s Day – the day when people play pranks and practical jokes on one another and when misdirection and subterfuge are celebrated and admired. So, it seems appropriate that the text I use from 1 Corinthians speaks about fools and foolishness.
The Apostle Paul, who was writing to the Church at Corinth, acknowledges that Jesus death on the cross can appear foolish; indeed a crucified Jewish Messiah defied all Jewish expectations, and was dismissed as absurd by the Gentile world. The 20th Century German philosopher, Nietzsche echoes that absurdity, he says, “Look at whom they worship, look at this God whom they worship. How foolish and imbecilic to follow one who died, and then to claim that that death is victory! There is foolishness and there is foolishness. There is madness and there is madness, but to call death victory is the ultimate madness of all. This is a pathetic deity and he is followed by a pathetic people.” For Paul however it is a case of perspective. He goes on to say in verse 25, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
There’s a great story and I wish it were true though I don’t think it is:
In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holiday to celebrate.
The case was brought before a wise judge who after listening to the long, passionate presentation of his lawyer, promptly banged his gavel and declared, “Case dismissed!”
The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, “Your honour, how can you possibly dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. And the Jews — why in addition to Passover they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah… and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!”
The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said “Obviously your client is too confused to know about or to celebrate the atheists’ holiday!”
The lawyer pompously said “We are aware of no such holiday for atheists, just when might that be, your honour?”
The judge said “Well it comes every year on exactly the same date– April 1st!”
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1.
The Apostle Paul explains that, accepting that God’s salvation was accomplished through the cross of Jesus might appear foolishness, the real foolishness comes when lies with those who refuse to accept it.
As we approach April fool’s Day and Easter you can be one fool or another; the fool that accepts God’s offer of salvation through the cross of Jesus or the other kind.
Either way; enjoy your holiday.