The victory seemed sure. Against the odds death lashed this man to the wood, this wonder who spoke so much of life. Jesus had assaulted death’s kingdom at every turn, and now, with a final cry, he ran out of breath.
His body found a tomb, and fear stationed a rock and guards. These bouncers would let no one in.
They faced the wrong direction. They missed the show.
Who knows what sounds or sights burst inside. Perhaps it was ear-splitting, a blinding flash. Maybe it was quiet and small, a hiccup of life stirring the body.
Jesus flung death aside and the boulder with it. The grave clothes lay discarded on the ground. The mighty guards passed out from fear, replaced by heavenly officers.
As he walked out of the tomb, Jesus laughed at death. The righteous Son of God had finished his work. Now he pulsed and thrummed with life.
We follow our Savior between the times. We see the hatred and the grabbing of the old way, kicking and jerking toward and within us. We mourn and cry and resist.
But we are not all mourning. We know the new way. We laugh at the good news—not because it’s funny, but because it’s so good. We are amazed and overcome and grateful, and we laugh the laugh of those who are free.
We laugh that the good news would be spoken to us. We laugh that we would be loved and adopted. We laugh that we would be promised such a future.
Death will make its final, futile attempts. It will throw us in the ground, a stone on top.
Who knows what sounds or sights will come. Jesus will fling death aside and the stone with it. The heavenly officers will take us further up and further in to the city coming down.
As we join the throng, we will laugh at death. Where is your sting? Where is your victory?
Without the curse, without frustration and thorns, we will rejoice forever. In the presence of our Father, we will know as we have been fully known. In our joy, we will laugh.
That joy is not just for Then. It is not just for Easter morning. It is for now and now and now, because the bond Jesus secured cannot be broken. We are grabbed and held by everlasting, full-to-the-brim love.
We will laugh forever because we will be with God, safe. And we laugh now, because we need the practice.