From my childhood, I have only very few remaining memories of watching our rather large wood-encased television set – inclusive of sliding doors! One that sticks in my mind was seeing people apparently harvesting spaghetti from trees. Being of a tender age at the time, I’m sure I had little idea that this was all an elaborate April fools’ hoax.
Reading afresh through the gospel accounts of Jesus passion this Easter, I was particularly struck by the extraordinary lengths that so many people went to in order to make a real fool out of Jesus.
He endures half-a-dozen or so separate trials and the mocking seems to get ratcheted up all the while. He is made to play dress-up games which result in him being repeatedly spat on and clubbed around the head. Thorns get pressed into his scalp and hair wrenched out of his beard. To think that these were only a grizzly foretaste of what was to come with the scourging and the crucifixion.
Surely Jesus was made the fool, however, in concert with this, so very many were themselves completely fooled. Fortunately “every cloud has a silver lining” and it is relieving to know that at least one man clearly breaks free from all the fooling about:
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” to which comes the reply “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23v42-43)
Did you end up getting fooled this April 1st? Well, in the light of Jesus words many Christians have allowed themselves to become as fools to gain paradise – as Jim Elliot, the missionary stated: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.