by Kris Calvert
4Tucson Prayer Domain Director
Laugh (or laughter) – these words have several definitions. According to Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, two definitions I will be referencing are: to find amusement or pleasure in something; and, to be of the kind that inspires joy.
Explaining the first definition is easy. When I saw the Get Smart movie for the first time, I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. My laughter was infectious and it made others around me laugh.
Or, then again, perhaps it is a good joke that makes us laugh:
A patient walks into a clinic, terribly anxious.
Patient: Nurse! Please help me! I am shrinking.I am losing an inch of height every few minutes!
Nurse: Sorry, the team is on their way to an emergency. You’re just going to have to be a little patient.
Found on the internet
We often hear that “Laughter is good for the soul” or “Laughter is good medicine”. While this is not exactly found in scripture, these statements came into being through referencing Proverbs 17:22a: A cheerful heart is good medicine…. It is interesting, if one goes to Biblegateway.com there are several different words used alongside “heart” in this passage besides cheerful: merry, happy, joyful, glad, joy-filled and rejoicing. So for me, it is not too much of a stretch to get to laughter. However, I would be remiss in not including the entire verse: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. We have all probably witnessed or experienced ourselves – a crushed spirit: completely or partially. Not only does a crushed spirit drag us down, but often times those around us as well.
As we enter into the home stretch to Resurrection Sunday, we are reminded of what transpired leading up to the actual Resurrection: Jesus/Yeshua’s entry into Jerusalem, the betrayal by Judas and also by Peter, being captured & tortured by the Roman guards, the spitefulness of the Pharisees, the crucifixion and then Jesus’ ultimate death! It is difficult to fathom that there could be some who were perhaps relieved Jesus was to be crucified. John 11:45-57 tells of the dilemma the chief priests and the Pharisees were in. “Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (11:47b-50).
Many people grieved at what they saw going on around them as Jesus was journeying closer to the cross. Each of the gospels tells the story of Jesus’ death. Luke 23:48 states, When all the people who had gathered to witness this sightsaw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. The beating of the breast was a sign of great anguish. Here were two groups of people experiencing forms of their spirits being crushed as they pondered on or wondered about what the future might hold for them. For the Pharisees, thinking about how the Romans might decimate their nation (and yes, they might also lose their authorities and power). For Jesus/Yeshua’s followers, thinking about the death of their leader, friend, mentor; the one who “seemed” to have all the answers and was able to perform great miracles. “Now, what do we do?”
And then comes the glorious truth as penned in the chorus of the classic hymn “He Arose”:
Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
What took place 2000+ years ago should continue to fill us with awe, humility, gratitude, rejoicing and even laughter (refer back to the 2nd definition in first paragraph). John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! (TLV) And what does it mean to have an abundant life? Well, pastors and authors for generations have expounded at length on this. However, could some of these next verses be representative (in part) of an abundant life?
So let us rejoice as we worship the Risen Savior! Acts 2: 24, 31; Romans 6:4 & 8:11; I Cor. 6:14, & 1 Peter 1:21 are just a handful of verses telling the good news. Let us also grab hold with both arms the truth found in Galatians 4:7, So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Co-heirs withChrist – Romans 8:17) If all this doesn’t make you want to clap your hands (Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. Psalm 47:1) then let us touch on what the New Testament says. Matthew 28:8 tells of the two Marys who after seeing the risen Lord, were afraid and yet filled with joy as they ran to tell the disciples what they saw. Then there’s the disciples in Luke 24:40-41, who when Jesus revealed his hands and feet, still did not believe because of the joy and amazement they were experiencing. I really do believe that there was laughter, as in the kind that inspires joy, taking place both times.
Let us come together to rejoice, and worship a Risen Savior, the Living God, who defeated Death and Sin, who paid the ultimate price for our sins, and who is also our great intercessor. But….if you still need another reason to smile in this season, please watch: https://youtu.be/y3sdByw9uUc
Christ is Risen; He is Risen, Indeed!
Blessings & Shalom,
The purpose of the Prayer Domain is to inspire and motivate people to know God intimately and create a culture of prayer so that the will of God is done in Tucson as it is in Heaven.