Have you ever seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? The answer is probably yes, and I usually watch it every Christmas season. You might be thinking, “Why are we talking about Christmas? It’s Easter!” Let me explain. Tony just completed a painting he named "The King's Crown". I was thinking about how, just before Christ was led to his crucifixion, the soldiers fashioned a crown of thorns and placed it on His head. In the Bible, we read how these soldiers and religious leaders “knelt before him in mocking reverence: ‘Bravo, King of the Jews!’ they said” (Matthew 27-31 The Message).
This made me think about the word ‘lampoon’. Have you ever considered what this word means? It’s the very definition of what the soldiers, the crowd, and the religious leaders were doing to Jesus just before and during his crucifixion. To ‘lampoon’ is to laughingly ridicule or criticize someone. In the movie, the Griswold’s are portrayed as a kind of joke. The movie exaggerates the family’s stupidity in a comical way, making us all laugh at how Clarke just doesn’t get it. He didn’t get it when he drug a ginormous Christmas tree into his living room, and he didn’t get it when his Christmas lights wouldn’t work.
When it comes to Christ’s crucifixion, we know that the mockers were making a joke out of the situation. They thought it was pretty funny to criticize Christ who had publicly proclaimed He was the King of the Jews. They laughed and taunted Jesus, telling Him to free Himself. They didn’t believe. The joke was really on them, but in the worst way. These were lost people, the very people for whom Jesus died. They were no different than we are today.
Unlike Clarke Griswold, Jesus did ‘get it’. He knew the deep and eternal consequences of laying down His life for ours. While the crowds were mocking and the soldiers were throwing dice to see who could win His clothes, Jesus was focused on the Father and crying out. When they were laughing, He was giving Himself as a sacrifice to save the world.
At the end of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Griswold’s have redeemed themselves and Christmas works itself out. The family laughs and loves together, and everyone’s needs are met. The story of Jesus ends in an even more fantastic way. We have been forgiven, freed from the bondage of sin. Because Jesus beat death at His resurrection, we too will beat death. There is no better news than knowing we are redeemed and will one day meet Jesus face to face in heaven. This makes me want to turn up my worship music and offer praise and adoration to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will be crowned with many crowns, and one day we will worship in holy reverence. I imagine falling down on my knees, unable to speak. Truly worshiping Christ is the exact opposite of lampooning. How do we worship Christ in reverence? Subscribe in the form below to get your free download: 10 Ways to Stop Lampooning. My prayer for you is that you worship Him every day with your whole heart, not just during this Easter season.