God’s Easter Laugh: A Meditation on Psalm 2

Reading: Psalm 2:4-8

I imagine that if creation can groan (Rom. 8:22), it can also laugh. Moltmann might just be right when he pictures the universe laughing with “the universal Easter laugh.”[1] The laughter of Easter originated with God! Psalm 2:4-8 speaks of God’s Easter laugh.

My previous post explored how Psalm 2:1-3 was ultimately fulfilled when the kings of the earth and their rulers took their stand against the Lord and His Messiah Jesus and crucified him. This is confirmed by the apostolic witness of Acts 2:24-28. They gave it their best shot. But God triumphantly raised Him from the dead.

The next verse in this psalm tells us that the One who sits in heaven, God, is so amused that He laughs:

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at (mocks) them (Psa. 2:4).

Why? Because when the nations give rebellion their best shot and kill God’s Messiah, God raises Him from the dead and enthrones Him as His Son, on His holy hill. God is laughing because the nations and peoples of the world think they can kill His Messiah!

The psalmist goes on to say that God mocks them. He is laughing at these rulers and the peoples they represent raging against Him and His Messiah-king, and he mocks them… ultimately by raising Him from the dead. Lest you think I’ve stretched it too far to say that resurrection is in mind here, when God laughs in Psalm 2, consider that Psalm 2:7 is quoted and referred to in the New Testament as referring to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead!

We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: “You are my son; today I have become your father.” (See also Rom. 1:4; Heb. 1:5; 5:5)

God had a big laugh on that first Easter for He used the very anger and rage of His opponents to defeat them and to reconcile them to Himself at the same time (Luke 23:34; Rom. 5:10). The very weapon used against Jesus has become a symbol of God’s salvation to His people. Paul tells us that had the rulers of this age understood it—think: the rulers of Psalm 2:2—“they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8). God laughed and then mocked death and the grave by raising Jesus from the tomb. What might this mocking have sounded like?

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1Cor. 15:55)

A brief aside: I couldn’t help but think, when I saw the word for laugh, yı̂śḥāq, of Isaac, yı̂ṣḥāq, who was named after Sarah’s laughter at the idea that she, in her 90s, would bear a son. God had to raise her dead womb to give her Isaac. Abraham was even willing to offer Isaac back to God believing that God is fully able to raise the dead (Heb. 11:19).

In Psalm 2:4, God is laughing, but not like Sarah at the prospect of a child being born when it seems impossible. He laughs because the Resurrection of Jesus from the tomb nullifies every effort that sin, death, darkness, and all their minions can throw at Him.

Today and every day, in light of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, let’s join in the universal Easter laugh! It is a laugh of great joy, for death is defeated! As we join in that laughter, let’s spread the glorious news of the Resurrection. The Father has promised to make the ends of the earth Jesus’ possession (Psa. 2:8). That means that, as you share this glorious news that sin loses, that evil loses, that injustice loses, that God has the final word in the Resurrection of Jesus, many will be given to God’s Son as they hear this message through faith (John 6:39-40; 17:2).

Advance the Gospel,

Jerry

[1] Jurgen Moltmann, The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology. “The laughter of the universe is God’s delight. It is the universal Easter laughter.”

Photo courtesy of Carissa Fassnacht, The Graceful Light.

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