Last Monday’s (June 16, 2014) posting shared the provocative thought that “in, and of itself, Jesus’s death is not good news.” This week Jeffrey A. Gibbs, in his article, “Christ is Risen, Indeed. Good News for Him, and For Us” (Concordia Journal/Spring 2014 pages 113131) reminds us that as Jesus’s representatives we have good news to proclaim: “God raised Jesus from the dead.”
On Easter and through Easter, Jesus was installed, appointed, exalted, and raised up over Israel and over the Gentiles as Messiah, and as Lord. He received and inherited a name, an authority, and an office so high as to be almost unimaginable. Exalted as Lord, he has the authority to grant repentance, and forgiveness of sins to Israel and to all the nations. Raised from the dead and exalted as Lord by the power of the Spirit, Jesus now in God’s economy pours out the Spirit upon all believers. What is the gospel? What can we say that is good news, indeed? We can, and should say this: God raised Jesus from the dead.” (p. 123)
What wonderful news Jesus’s resurrection is for all the people of this world!
As I type these words, countless Christian brothers and sisters around the world are being beaten, jailed, and even exterminated by atheist regimes and other religious zealots. To whom can these suffering Christians turn? To the living Lord who promises, “I will be with you until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) There are people whose lives are falling apart because of addictions and there are other people overwhelmed by trials and tribulations, and to such people our triumphant Saviour proclaims, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) There are people dealing with the grave realities of death — the death of loved ones … their own imminent death … and to such people our resurrected King promises, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)
Yes, for every predicament of life in which we might find ourselves, we have good news to proclaim! “God raised Jesus from the dead!”