Saturday, April 11, 2009

Risus Paschalis

Easter could be looked at as God's "practical joke" on the devil.

The Enemy thinks he has won. Jesus has been arrested, brought before the Sanhedrin and endured a mockery of a trial. On the flimsiest of evidence (being generous here) he's handed over to Pilate to be scourged, beaten and broken. He dies the death of a thug on a Roman cross. He is laid in a tomb and the stone is rolled over its entrance.

It's all over. He has won.

But there's something else to consider. There is Easter. God's biggest "gotcha." Something unexpected (at least from the devil's perspective) happens.

In the minds of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) God played a great practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. They called it the "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh."

Tomorrow is the Great Easter Surprise.

Let the laughter begin!

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