"With high delight let us unite In songs of great jubilation. Ye pure in heart, all bear your part, Sing Jesus Christ, our salvation. To set us free forever, He is ris'n and sends To all earth's ends good news to save ev'ry nation.
"True God, He first from death has burst Forth into life, all subduing. His enemy doth vanquished lie; His death has been death's undoing. 'And yours shall be like victory O'er death and grave,' saith He, Who gave His life for us, life renewing."
News reports of disasters are often announced with exaggerated headlines: "Worst Storm of the Century!" "Heaviest Snowfall in Decades!" News changes quickly and reporters want to catch and keep our attention and spark our curiosity. In Christ Jesus, we have very different news to announce, and it is no exaggeration. It is "good news to save ev'ry nation."
Earthly news may or may not be good, but usually it does not save, unless perhaps it warns of some approaching disaster. The good news of Jesus saves because it "is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16b). This Good News, this Gospel, is not recent news, but the story of all that Jesus, the Son of God, did more than 2,000 years ago. It is the eyewitness account of His birth and life, of His identity, His teaching and His miracles. It is the good news of Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Implanted within this good news is the sure and certain promise that all who believe in Jesus will receive forgiveness for their sins and the gift of eternal life. This good news delivers what it promises!
Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross, taking onto Himself the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins. He was buried and then—in the most astonishing news ever announced (no exaggeration!)—Jesus rose from the dead. As our hymn reminds us, He "first from death has burst." No one had ever done such a thing before! His death was "death's undoing." What is more, Jesus tells us, "And yours shall be like victory o'er death and grave," that is, our victory over death and the grave will be like His. Jesus has risen from the dead and "will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him" (Romans 6:9b). His victory is our victory. We will fall asleep in Christ Jesus and live in His presence. On the Last Day our bodies will be raised from death as Jesus was raised, never to die again. Death no longer has dominion over us. Death and the grave are not the end. Jesus Christ has "abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10b). This is news that must be proclaimed, at Jesus' command, "to all earth's ends." How is this for a headline? "Jesus Christ Has Abolished Death!"
WE PRAY: Jesus, in You I have new life, now and forever. Help me to share this Good News! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "With High Delight Let Us Unite," which is number 483 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. How does media sensationalism distort the news? How does it shape the public's thinking?
2. Do you think it was hard for people in the first century to grasp the headlining good news of Jesus' resurrection?
3. How can we proclaim Jesus' life, death, and resurrection in the quiet living of our day-to-day lives?
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