"A Pleasant Surprise"
September 30, 2012
Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him." Mark 16:5-6
If you're like me, most conversations seem to be filled with far more negative than positive.
Indeed, to listen to most people talk, you'd think they'd never seen a bit of good news in their lives. The weather? It's bad. The future? That's cloudy. My health? Who knows? The government? Wastrels. The economy? Down the tubes.
You see what I mean?
Indeed, many of us might be hard pressed to remember the last time we received unadulterated good news, that is, good news which had no "down side." Think about it? When was the last time you bought a box of Cracker Jack and received more peanuts than popcorn? When was the last time a policeman pulled you over and wrote you a "Congratulations on being a good driver!" note, rather than a warning ticket?
Can't remember any such good news? If so, you probably understand why most of us think good news is a commodity in pretty short supply.
Of course, Christians are supposed to be different; at least they ought to be different.
If you read the Bible, you'll find just about every time God shows up, He's bringing some kind of good news. To Adam and Eve, God gave the good news of a Redeemer who would be born to save them. With Abraham God shared the good news of a future son. Moses conveyed God's message, "I have heard your prayer ... I've got good news... soon you will be free" (see Exodus 12-13). With Elijah God shared the good news that not everyone had turned away from Him.
Looking in the New Testament you will find the same thing is true. God keeps delivering good news. Mary received God's good news: she would be the mother of the Messiah. The sick who visited Jesus were given good news when He healed their maladies. Those who were troubled by their sins heard the good news that God forgives.
Even the women on resurrection Sunday got good news when they were told the dead Jesus was now the living Lord.
And for you who don't live in Bible times? For you the good news keeps on coming, too. Your good news begins when you were baptized and made a member of God's family of faith. That good news continues every moment of every day as your sins are forgiven.
And when your last day comes, the good news won't stop then, will it? That's because when you breathe your last, the Savior who died to set you free will come one last time and take you home to where He lives. He will come and put you in that mansion He prepared for you long ago, which, my friends, is the very best of news.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are times when my heart sees only the dark and the gloomy. Grant me the vision to see the wonderful things You have done in the past and continue to do every day of my life. In the Name of the Savior -- the best news of all -- I ask it Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries