April 01, 2017

April’s Fool?

Luke 9:18-22

The Son of Man must suffer many things . . . and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

—  Luke 9:22

On this April Fools’ Day we’re in the middle of Lent. This month we’ll recall Christ’s journey to Jerusalem, where he was crucified for our sins. He trekked this hard road on God’s orders, but at the time many saw it as a fool’s errand. Even Peter, one of his closest followers, said, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:22). But Jesus didn’t waver.

Why did God send his Son on this mission? The reason goes way back to the beginning of human history. In all creation, only humans bore God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). But they rebelled against their Maker (Genesis 3) and burdened all of the rest of us with the penalty for their disobedience (1 Corinthians 15:22). Thankfully, God had a plan, and his Son followed it through (John 3:16).

In today’s verses Jesus forewarns his disciples about the end of his earthly mission. And after his resurrection he explained, “This is what I told you while I was still with you” (Luke 24:44). But his mission won’t be fully complete until “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47).

Have we repented, and do we believe in Jesus so that we can share in his resurrection and tell others this good news?

Lord Jesus, to the world, your mission may seem foolish. But we’re profoundly grateful you took it on. Give us repentant hearts and believing souls so that we can share in your resurrection and spread its joy. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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