The Good News

The Good News

An old pastor friend of ours used to start almost every conversation by asking the same question. “Hey, have you heard the good news?”

When I first started visiting with him, the question caught me off guard a couple of times. He was generally a very upbeat guy, so I was, of course, curious to hear what he was up to and what the good news would be that time.

I soon discovered the answer was always the same.

At first, I thought his conversation opener was cute, and something I’d expect any preacher to open dialogue with. Eventually, though, I found myself answering begrudgingly, “Yes, I know…”, then I’d finish his answer for him.

I had things to talk about, problems to pray over – I needed to get to the point. I didn’t have time to rehash the same good news every time we spoke.

Except that attitude was a window into my immature, selfish self. The good news that was the same every time he asked the question, has never been topped. Never been beaten. Never been outdone by any other good news. The same good news he wanted to make sure I – and everyone – knew all those years ago, is the same good news I find myself intentionally remembering each and every day now.

Have you heard the good news?

Today is Easter – a holiday I didn’t grow up celebrating as anything religious, even though I would have been considered an inherently religious person even as a child. We tended to separate the celebration from the circumstance, and it wasn’t until I was an adult I understood the history and correlation. It turns out rabbits, eggs, and marshmallows had nothing to do with Easter in the early days. Who knew?

Matthew 28: After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

So, have you heard the good news?

The tomb is empty!

He has risen, just as he said!

Why does it matter? Why is it news at all, let alone good news?

The whole new testament can answer that. From my own personal experience, though, the answer is simple: without His resurrection, I have no hope.

No hope of an eternal future. No hope of salvation. No hope of being redeemed. Forgiven. Cleansed. No hope of ever seeing Harlynn again. No hope. Period.

Have you heard the good news? The tomb is empty!

And there is hope.

Whatever your Easter has in store for you, whatever season you’re in right now, He is hope. He is good news. He is all the answers, all the solutions, all the help you’ll need. He is risen.

He died a gruesome death, killed in anger for having done no wrong. And though He longed for there to be some other way, He willingly sacrificed himself for my sake. For your sake. For all our sakes. He healed the sick, the disabled, and performed miracle after miracle, but he proved His love by following through to his brutal finish.

Then, just as He said, He rose. He conquered. He overcame death.

And there is hope.

And every day, I intentionally remember He died so that I might live. He rose again so that we all could know and believe He is who He says He is. Easter is a chance for us to call attention to His resurrection to those who may not otherwise know of Him. Just as importantly, however, it’s a chance for us to reflect and remember what He did out of love for us, and give us insight into all we can do out of love for others.

So friend, have you heard the good news?