Looking For Good News

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Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. (Acts 13:26-32)

Looking For Good News

As the apostle Paul traveled from city to city, he would engage the Jewish community in the synagogue seeking opportunities to teach the message of Jesus Christ. Arriving at Antioch in Pisidia, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day where he was asked to offer words of exhortation for the people. After a brief survey of Jewish history, Paul declares how the promise made to Abraham was fulfilled in the story of Jesus. The promise of the Messiah given through the centuries was not waiting to be fulfilled but had found completeness in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Salvation for the Jews (and Gentiles) came through Jesus Christ who declared Himself to be the Son of God. What happened in Jerusalem was the plan of God. They could read throughout the law and the prophets how Christ would come and what He would be like. All of these prophecies led to the story of Jesus who was the Savior of Israel. It was vital for the Jews in Antioch to understand the message Paul was preaching of the man from Nazareth was the fulfillment of the holy words of Moses and the prophets. Jesus had ascended to the Father but the story of His life was the message of truth promised from Abraham throughout the ages. Jesus was killed as an innocent man without any charge proven against Him. Like a lamb without spot being led to the slaughter, so Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament writings of how the Messiah would be sacrificed. The travesty of the arrest, trials, and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was the eternal proof that God had planned for His Son to die for the sins of all men. Because of envy, the Jews had delivered Jesus to the Romans to carry out the execution of an innocent man. Not only were the Jews guilty of killing the Anointed One but the Romans were culpable in the death of the Son of God by killing a man without proper due diligence of law. All men stand guilty of the blood of Jesus. Paul wanted to drive the point home to his listeners of the travesty of Jesus death that His blood was on all men. There was no cause for death and yet Pilate allowed the pressure of the people to permit Jesus to die. This was all in fulfillment of the redemptive plan of God.

It was the divine will of God that His Son is crucified. No form of punishment or death created by man is as cruel and demonstratively horrific as crucifixion. They nailed the Son of God to a tree. He died in an excruciating manner that illustrated the terrible nature of sin and the price to be paid to redeem man. All of the darkness of Satan’s work was brought to bear on that place outside Jerusalem when God died on a cross. But the greatest work of salvation came three days later when God raised His Son from the dead. Nicodemus and Joseph placed the dead body of Jesus in a sealed tomb and the Father used the glory of His power to bring His Son out of an impossible place to accomplish an impossible task that could not be accomplished without His glory. The resurrection of Jesus was not the first time a dead body had raised from the dead. This would be the first and only time that resurrection took place where death would never again take the body. Jesus rose from the dead and never dies. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Jesus lived among men forty days before ascending to the Father. He taught His disciples, communed with them and guided them in the power of the coming kingdom. This was not an apparition or ghost. Jesus was alive and well and real. The resurrection was the eternal imprint of God’s love shown to all men that death had been conquered and victory had been found in the death of Jesus.

The glad tidings of Paul to those gathered in a synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia was the joyful message of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, testified by many witnesses and confirmed through the teachings of the apostles and prophets. The story of Jesus is the only hope of salvation. There is no hope in any other man, a different faith or the wisdom of men. It is not a complex and difficult message to grasp. Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested by God through many signs and wonders to be the Son of God. His teachings changed lives and taught men how to live with hope in eternal life. That message still resonates through the ages declaring salvation in Jesus Christ alone. The gospel of Christ is the only message where a man can find redemption of his sins. There is only one Lord, one faith, one church, one hope and one promise fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. This is the glad tidings of God. If you are looking for good news, you will find it in Jesus Christ.

 

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