In 15th century Bavaria, as a group of monks pondered the meaning of the somber events of holy week -- Maundy Thursday's observance of Christ's Last Supper, his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and his arrest and Good Friday's remembrance of Christ's agony and crucifixion -- one of the monks began laughing, one of those huge belly laughs, shattering the quiet of their contemplation.
It's said that the monk who laughed told the others, "Don't you see? It was like a joke! The Resurrection was the best joke in all history. On Good Friday when Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. But God had the last laugh on Easter when he raised Jesus from the dead."
The monks called it Risus Paschalis, "the Easter laugh." Word spread and the day after Easter became known as a day of joy and laughter, to be celebrated with joke telling. Monks in monasteries particularly enjoyed the custom.
I don’t believe we fully understand the importance of the resurrection to the Heaven we will enjoy one day. If we did, we would have a lot more laughter and joy in our lives, no matter what is going on around us. Instead of somber, sour faces, we would have joyful expressions of confidence in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Therefore, to prepare you for what I am going to talk about this morning, I want to tell you some Christian light bulb jokes.
• How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb? None. God has predestined when the light will be on. Calvinists do not change light bulbs. They simply read the instructions and pray the light bulb will be the one that has been chosen to be changed.
• How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb? None. They always use candles.
• How many members of an established Bible teaching church that is over 20 years old does it take to change a light bulb? One to actually change the bulb and nine to say how much they liked the old one.
• How many liberal post-modernist christians does it take to change a bulb? No one knows. They can’t tell the difference between light and darkness.
• How many TV evangelists does it take to change a light bulb? One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation today.
• How many Unitarian’s does it take to change a light bulb? This statement was issued. “We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relations with your light bulb (or light source, or non-dark resource), and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, LED, long life, and tinted - all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
• How many youth workers does it take to change a light bulb? Youth workers don’t last long enough for a light bulb to burn out.
• How many Pentecostal’s does it take to change a light bulb? One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
• How many Southern Baptists: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the refreshments.
• How many Mormons does it take to change a light bulb. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.
• Methodists: Undetermined. Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved -- you can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Church wide lighting service is planned for Sunday, August 19. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish.
• Lutherans: None. Lutherans do not believe in change.
• Amish: What's a light bulb?
Paul wrote this about the Resurrection
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…[and] we are to be pitied more than all men. (I Cor 15:17,19)
Christ rose bodily-it is the cornerstone, foundat