“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 Cor. 1:18
It doesn’t happen very often that Easter falls on April Fool’s Day. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about the idea of being a fool for Christ.
The above quote is from the introduction to a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church he has birthed in the bustling port city of Corinth, the capital of first-century Greece. Paul wrote this letter for a very specific purpose: to correct some wrong thinking about the resurrection of Jesus on the morning of the third day after he had been crucified. There had been some members of the congregation who doubted whether Jesus really had been raised from the dead. It seems that it was easier for some in the Corinthian church to believe that Jesus had died, than it was for them to believe that Jesus was alive again! In fact, they seemed to be saying that only a fool would believe in the resurrection!
So, Paul spends some time telling his church that the resurrection of Jesus is a crucial doctrine in our faith. And then he says this:
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith if futile; you are still lost in your sins.” 1 Cor 15:19
You see, Paul was saying that the message of the Good News of Jesus included not only his death, but his being raised from the dead. That may seem foolish to you, but the April Fool’s joke will be on you! You will die in your sins! Harsh words, I know! Who of us wants to hear that we are sinners in need of a resurrected Savior? It hurts to acknowledge our sinful thoughts, intentions, and actions, doesn’t it? But therapy for the soul, just like therapy for the body, often has to hurt before it can help.
In fact, only fools will wallow around in the filth of their sins. In their human wisdom, resurrection doesn’t make sense. They have not yet received the powerful Spirit of the Living, Risen Christ that can lift them from this “miry pit” in which they wallow. So, they foolishly reject the gift that will redeem them from the pit.
But this redeeming Spirit is at work in us as we receive the gift of God’s resurrection power in our lives. Let us happily be different kinds of fools: fools for Christ as he is at work in us, shaping and forming us with resurrection power, today and always!