This coming Sunday we will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday,” traditionally known as Easter. The greatest bombshell that ever hit the face of the earth is what took place this coming Sunday morning when Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave.
It was “Joy to the World” on Christmas and “Good News” to the world on “Resurrection Sunday.” Good news is something that gives you hope; it gives you energy; in a case where you have been knocked down, good news causes you to get back up. It is something that makes you feel good.
All of us know something about “good news.” It is that which tells you that you are going to get a raise at your job. It is that which tells you that you are expecting your first child — and that child is the gender that you were expecting. Good news is being called and hired by a job that you wanted, when you’ve been out of work so many months or years; good news is when your fiancee proposes to you in marriage; or when you make your proposal, your fiancee says yes! Good news is when a plane crashes and you hear that everyone on board survives. Good news makes you feel good — it restores hope and it gives confidence.
Bad news is when you hear that somebody that you love has just passed away; that something didn’t turn out the way you expected; bad news is what we hear and see in the community and nation. Bad news can drain you and sap your very energy, leaving you empty — and you say to yourself is there any good news? Somebody is in need of some good news today; someone whose world has been rocked by bad news.
Bad news is what took place on what we call “Good Friday” when we last saw the savior hanging on a cross. He had been “wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him.” According to St. Luke 23:46 Jesus said “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said that he dropped his hand and he physically died.” Mary Magdalene comes to the grave early and finds the stone rolled away (St. John 20:1). She runs to tell Peter and John and they all run to the grave. There they find the napkin that was around his head apart from the linen clothes. Mary stands outside the grave weeping. Jesus appears to Mary and calls her by name (verse 16). Mary goes and tells the disciples that Jesus is alive!
What is the good news from the grave? The good news is that Jesus did die: But so did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses — they all died and were buried. And they are still buried. But on that first “Resurrection Sunday” Jesus got up from the grave. This means hope for the hopeless.
As the song says, because he lives we can face tomorrow; because he lives, all fear is gone. Life is worth the living, just because he lives. Hallelujah, Jesus lives.
The Rev. George T. Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church.