Good News in the Beginning
God starts this story—though he has no beginning (Revelation 1:8). Since we think in a linear manner, it seems fitting to think about the good news in the context of the first humans. God created man and woman in the hopes that they would dwell with him forever, but their decision to disobey his kind provision led to spiritual and physical death (Genesis 2).
In his great mercy, however, the Lord continued to provide for the man and woman and their offspring. In the course of time, he showed the people how to atone for their recurring sins by way of a sacrifice (see Leviticus 4).
The blood of animals sprinkled on the altar was not enough for complete and total redemption. Accordingly, the son of God willingly laid down his life—once and for all—that we would be restored to God for good. And after tasting death for every man, Jesus was crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9), an unrivaled glory that will endure for all time.
Good News for Today
The good news started at the beginning of time, when God set in motion a mighty plan to draw all people to him like chicks to a hen (Matthew 23:27). The good news exists today too, in the here and now.
Two verses speak to this, and the first concerns an ongoing process noted in Philippians 2:12: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” What’s Paul alluding to? Holiness. In the words of author Matthew Henry, “The doctrine and example of consistent believers will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and holiness.” Holiness is the daily process of becoming more like Jesus (John 3:30). Going after godliness with all our regenerated hearts, in the power of God’s Spirit, is good news for our spiritual growth.
The second passage that alludes to the daily reminder of the good news of God is tucked into Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” What a thought, to deeply know a faithful God who dispenses fresh mercy with each new sunrise. Every day begins with good news, a mercy that covers our worst sins and leads us toward confession, forgiveness, and repentance.
Good News for the Future
While we know that tomorrow will be greeted with mercy anew like today, what does the larger picture look like? What does the future look like?
If we backpedal to the resurrection of Jesus the Savior some 2,000 years ago, this translates into a different tomorrow for everyone who witnessed that unbelievable moment in time as the stone was beside the tomb. The twelve disciples for example, once stubborn and timid, were boldly proclaiming that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 5:29-32) to all who would listen to their message.
What does this mean for us as 21st century followers of Jesus? We are called to be ambassadors for Christ: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus is the epitome of good news for all humanity, hope for the lost.
Matthew 28 closes with a comforting view for tomorrow and for the future: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Many of us interpret “end of the age” to mean “end of days” or “the end of time.” Regardless of your interpretation, what’s striking about this verse is that Jesus is likely referencing our end. Since he too is fully God, there is no end for him. He will endure forever.
Lastly, the good news reveals that the enemy will be defeated at the end of the age. The thief who comes to “steal and kill and destroy” will meet his well-deserved demise. “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 20:10).
The future is one of hope, as what was started will surely be finished. “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12: 1-2).
That’s good news.
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