I like humor as much as anybody.
However, I am disturbed (and at the same time, aware of the inherent “old foginess” in what I’m about to say), but It seems like more and more, funny is being redefined as simply crass.
Humor these days seems to have become little more than a bunch of feckless, personae non gratae whose sole talent seems to espousing the profane. As I was checking out the news on the internet today, I came across an article about a “comedian” who had himself crucified during Good Friday commemorations in the Philippines. And yesterday my homepage featured a “Family Guy” YouTube clip (which I didn’t watch) about a dog fetching a cross.
My initial reaction, because these people so readily trample on what I hold dear, is to want to lash out in a violent tirade of verbal abuse. I want to tell them in plain English that their banal attempts at humor are merely vapid repetitions of what has been around for centuries. People have been mocking Christianity since its inception and those who continue to do so offer nothing creative or original in the least.
That’s what I want to say.
But when I consider the way Jesus dealt with mockery, I’m reminded that there is perhaps a better way. When Jesus stood before his accusers, and they mocked and beat him, he didn’t lash out. He didn’t defend himself. He didn’t tell those mocking him that they were insignificant peons. Because the truth is, they weren’t. In fact, they were the very reason he was about to die – so that they may have life, and have to the full (John 10:10).
And when I think about my outrage at those who have no respect for the cross, what really comes to light is not their waywardness, but my own. After all, the Bible clearly says that unbelievers cannot comprehend the things of God. They simply don’t have the tools to understand the Cross or the crucifixion or the resurrection or any of it (1Cor.2:14). Paul clearly explains this when he says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” (1Cor. 1:18).
And so the real tragedy of the day is not that some people have no regard for the cross and go to the Philippines to have themselves crucified in mockery of the greatest act of compassion mankind has ever known, or that they make ridiculous cartoons about dogs fetching crosses. We should, according to the Bible, expect nothing less. The real tragedy is that despite that this is exactly what we should expect, I still find it hard to love these people.
And the message in that is that its not those people who need to better understand the cross. Rather, it’s me, who has professed to understand it, that is shown to be wanting.
And so this Easter, I am reminded not only of the profound rejoicing we should embody regarding the resurrection, but also of the need to at times, be simply silent and to love.
Maybe then those who would mock this day, might pause long enough to contemplate it.