When Bad News Is Good News
Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus. — Acts 13:26-33
Yesterday we started reading the first recorded sermon from the Apostle Paul. And Paul led off this sermon by recounting the rich history of the Jewish people. And in the section I just read, his sermon begins to take a softer and more personal appeal connecting his heart and heritage to his concern not only for them but for the message of truth. But in this appeal, he presents the real issue. The tension that must be addressed. It's a tension between claims of "those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers" with the claims of "God and Jesus." And then Paul clearly states that the Jewish leaders read about God and the promised Messiah every week, yet ignored, canceled, and killed God's Son because their religious legalism and political collusion blinded them. Yet immediately, Paul reveals the Good News. That God hindered their plans evidenced in the one event that changed everything — the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. While some people planned on killing and burying the issue, God did what he promised he would do since the beginning of time — defeat death brought on by sin and renew a relationship with the people of the earth through his Son, Jesus the Messiah.
We live in a world full of bad news. In fact, there is a lot of bad news out there right now. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Floods. Hurricanes. Taliban. Borders. Variants. Terrorism. Allegations. You name it. And sometimes, don't you wonder if all this bad news is just an attempt to distract us? That people use it to invoke fear, shame, and compliance with their ideas? Paul, here says they do!
But here's the good news. There is no bad news that will ever stop the Good News of God. Even in this biblical situation, religious leaders of God, in the greatest city ever built, Jerusalem, attempted to stop God's Good News. But their twisted plans played right into God's plan — death that became life in the resurrection of Jesus.
So today, turn off the bad news. Or at least stop allowing bad news to determine how you respond and react. God's got Good News, and it must need come to pass!
ASK THIS: What bad news is presently affecting you?
DO THIS: Recall the Good News.
PRAY THIS: God, please help me know the good news with all the bad news in my life. Please help me to see the victory you have me in my present situation. Reveal it to me even today!
PLAY THIS: See A Victory — Elevation Worship.
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