Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you,
"The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail him to a cross. But three days later he will rise to life."
-- Luke 24:6-7
If it bleeds, it leads.
That's the old saying in the news business. Turn on the TV or check the headlines on the web, and you're bound to come across story after story about alleged political corruption, financial hardship, job layoffs and degenerate human behavior. The fact is that the media thrives on bad news and hyping the worst possible scenarios. After all, good news rarely drives ratings or attracts clicks.
Positive headlines also don't paint an unrealistic, gloomy picture of our circumstances. For example, bad economic news can lead to self-fulfilling prophesies when people becomes too scared to buy a much-needed automobile or even a new pair of shoes. True, too many people really are struggling these days with difficult life challenges. But unemployment, crime, sickness and death have been part of the human experience for centuries. There's nothing new under the sun.
But enough with the depressing headlines. How about spreading some good news for a change?
As Christ-followers, our Good News (The Gospel) is that Jesus paid the price for our sins (past, present and future) when he died in our place on the cross. Then, just as predicted centuries earlier in the Old Testament, God resurrected him to life to forever defeat the power of sin and death in our lives. It's this same power that will one day raise all Believers to eternal life and joy with our Creator.
"Death has lost the battle!" proclaimed the Apostle Paul. "Where is its victory? Where is its sting?"
Does this Good News sound a bit too good to be true? If so, you're not alone. Even some of Jesus' closest followers found it hard to believe when they heard reports--just days after witnessing his crucifixion--that he was actually alive. Let's consider this encouraging passage from the Gospel of John, which details the skepticism (and later amazement) of an apostle known to this day as "Doubting Thomas":
Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn't with the others when Jesus appeared to them. So they told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But Thomas said, "First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won't believe unless I do this!"
A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples and said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!"
Thomas replied, "You are my Lord and my God!"
Jesus said, "Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!"
Are today's headlines getting you down? Now's the time to start spreading the Good News.