Easter Fools?

Some think it fitting: That at a time devoted to hoaxes, we celebrate the most colossal hoax of all

Here are two April fools pranks that I’m not making up:

April 1, 1974: Residents of Sitka, Alaska awake to see clouds of black smoke billowing from the crater of Mount Edgecumbe, the long-dormant volcano on the edge of town. People spill into the streets to gaze at the smoldering volcano, terrified that it is active again and might soon erupt. Thankfully man, not nature, is responsible. A local prankster Porky Bickar had flown hundreds of old tires into the volcano’s crater and lit them on fire. Please don’t try this at home. Six years later, when Washington’s Mount St. Helens erupts, a Sitka, Alaska resident writes to Bickar telling him, “This time you’ve gone too far!”

April 1, 1978: A barge towing a giant iceberg appears in Sydney Harbor. Sydney residents are expecting it. For some time, Dick Smith, a local adventurer and millionaire businessman, had been promoting his scheme to tow an iceberg from Antarctica. Now he had apparently succeeded. His plan was to carve the berg into small ice cubes and sell them to the public. But the prank was exposed as he towed the iceberg into the harbour. A downpour washed away the firefighting foam and shaving cream that the berg was made of, uncovering white plastic sheets beneath.

For the first time since 1956, we celebrated Easter on April Fool’s Day in 2018. Some said it was fitting. That on a day devoted to hoaxes, we celebrate the most colossal hoax of all: The resurrection of Jesus. I respectfully disagree, along with an endless host of brilliant and transformed people who have found life and truth in the resurrected Jesus.

C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel all sought to disprove the claims of Christianity, but found the evidence of the resurrection so compelling that they became devoted followers of Jesus. Saul of Tarsus set out to destroy the early church, until he met the resurrected Christ. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 (NIV)

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…and that he appeared…to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living…”

Because He lives, we can live today with purpose, hope, and joy—and a little laughter too. Our pregnant daughter-in-law just called to say she’d given birth to identical triplets.

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Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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