This has to do with tombs, wombs, justification, righteousness, faith, and above all laughter and joy. So, let’s go.
Abraham is given a promise from God and he believes that promise and this is credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). The promise is that Abraham will have a son. This promise is, aptly put, absurd. Abraham is old and Sarah, his wife, is past childbearing age. Her womb is dead and has never carried life. Any sensible person would scoff. But Abraham believed. He trusted God’s word that life would come from a dead womb. And God counted him as righteous. When the time came, Sarah and Abraham conceived a child, from her dead womb, and a son was born, Isaac.
Isaac means, the laughing one. Isaac, the miracle child, came out of a grave-womb. He was the son who would look at death and laugh. Abraham laughed and Sarah did too (Genesis 17:17; 18:12). God brought life from the dead.
In like manner, Jesus came forth from the place of the dead. He was plunged down into Hades, burst its bonds, rolled the stone away from the tomb, and walked out a new man born from the lifeless grave. He is the true Son to the true Father. And His life from the dead is what gives us justification (Romans 4:25). Righteousness comes from believing God’s promise that He brought Jesus back from the dead.
This is the great comedy of history: a once dead man lives forever. Jesus is the Greater Isaac who laughs at the lifeless grave. He is the Great Son of Laughter who gives joy to His people. He promised His disciples, in the shadow of His own death, that they would have joy, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:22). And then when the women came to the empty tomb and the angel told them of Jesus’s resurrection, “…they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” (Matthew 28:8). You can scarcely read a letter or book in the New Testament without finding the joy of God’s people in the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:28, 8:8, 13:52, 20:24; Romans 14:17, 15:13, 32; 2 Corinthians 1:24, 2:3, 7:4, 8:2; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 1:4, 25, 2:2, 4:4; Colossians 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:19-20; Hebrews 10:34; James 1:2; 1 John 1:4; 1 Peter 1:8-9, 4:12-14; Jude 24).
Why is it that we can count all our sufferings joy as James admonishes us to do (James 1:2)? Because the great enemy has been knocked to the ground with an uppercut, kicked in the ribs, and is now gasping for air from a punctured lung. Death is wounded and has no grip on Christians. So, laugh. That great enemy is no longer, for the Son of Man sits on His throne laughing as the Greater Isaac holding all His enemies in derision, even that nasty black dragon they call the Reaper (Psalm 2).
And we are Christians. We are sons and daughters of laughter. We should not even be, but here we are. Redeemed, justified, dead and yet alive. Forgiven. Spiritual men and women and children shedding the shackles of adamic sin with the laughter of the new Man who pours out His Holy Spirit with joy and liberality. We who were once dead are now living.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:1-2.