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November 26, 2018, 3:51 PM

Good News

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”   Mark 1:1

What is the gospel?  As a noun, ‘gospel’ means good news, good tidings. As a verb, it means to proclaim good news.

Everyone likes to hear good news, right?  “I’ve been accepted to the university I wanted with a scholarship!” “They hired me!”  “I got a promotion with a raise in salary!”  “We’re engaged!”  “I pronounce you husband and wife.”  “We bought a house!”  “We’re having a baby!” This may have brought to your mind may have other pronouncements that herald good news.

Here in the very first verse of Mark’s Gospel, we’re told that the account of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is good news. 

Good news for whom?

Friend, this is good news for us!  This “good tidings” is the declaration of God’s salvation being provided for us through Jesus. You see, we needed to be rescued. We had rebelled against God; each and every one of us has rejected God’s sovereignty in our lives and turned from him to pursue our own way. The Bible calls this sin. All of God’s commands are right, perfect and good; however, we resented his commands and violated them. And sin carries its own penalty: death, separation from God and the coming judgment. And we can’t fix our sin problem. Even our best, most valiant deeds cannot erase the wrongs we have done or thought. This is the bad news we must acknowledge.

Yet, God in his great mercy and love sent Jesus. Jesus, God’s Son, came to live among us and to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies: born of a virgin in the obscure village of Bethlehem, a descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah. Jesus lived the perfect life: total obedience to God the Father while led by the Holy Spirit loving and serving others. He willingly gave his life on the cross to pay the price our sins deserved. And in taking our sins upon himself, we received in exchange: forgiveness for our sins, his righteousness and reconciliation with God.

This is the wonder of Christmas. This is why we celebrate Jesus’ birth every December. It really is good news. To Joseph, Mary’s fiancee, the angel of the Lord said: “Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21. To the shepherds, the angels said: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11.

Reflect on Mark 1:1. Do you believe this is good news for you?  Who needs to hear this good news today?

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