My daughter and father-in-law used to play April Fool’s tricks on each other. It was all in good fun, something we laugh and tell stories about. Alicia started it one year by telling her Grandpa that his truck in the driveway had a flat tire. He went running out to the driveway. Alicia followed so she could say, “April Fools” at the right moment. The next year Alicia was told the wheel of her bike had fallen off.
The culmination of these tricks was a grand performance by Alicia. It was on a Sunday after we had been to church. We were going to stop in to see Grandpa Jim and Grandma Bub. While the rest of us waited in the car Alicia went up to the house. She arrived breathlessly showing up at his door claiming, “my parents left me at church.” She told them we thought she was going home with a friend, but her friend had already left. So, we had left without her. She had run all the way to their house. Chaos ensued or so I have been told. Alicia waited until they had picked up the phone to call us before saying, “April Fools!”
I am reminded of the story in chapter 22 of Genesis. You remember this story. God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham obeys and at the point where he is about to kill his son an angel stops him. Because Abraham obeyed God he is given many blessings. Abraham loved God so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son.
I remember the first time I heard this story, sitting towards the back of St. Bonaventure in Bloomington. I was horrified that God would do that. I mean asking someone to kill another person. And then, stopping them at the last possible instant? God and Abraham, this had to be the worst April Fool’s joke ever. Can you imagine Isaac sharing a laugh later with his dad about the time he was going to slit his throat? How could God do that? And what sort of parent would send their own child to die? Wouldn’t that be the hardest thing imaginable?
There is a literary technique called foreshadowing. It can mirror something that happens later in the story. The best ones also give some understanding of the events to come. You’ve probably heard the Bible described as the greatest literature ever. Well the story of Abraham sacrificing his son has to be the greatest foreshadow ever.
God, the Father, sends his son to earth to be sacrificed. It was a hard thing to do. But, because God’s love for us is so strong, because He wants us to be in heaven and not separated from Him due to our sins, Jesus is sent to die for us.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.