Good News of Great Joy
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
If you were asked to choose between bad news and good news, which one would you choose? I'm sure you'd like the good news, wouldn't you? In fact, we all want to hear the good news, don't we? The students want the good news of getting Golden A + when the test results come out, unemployed people want the good news of getting a job, service holders want good news of salary increase or promotion, sick people want good news of cure, and dying passengers want good news of survival!
Is there anyone who doesn't want to get the good news? I don't think there is anyone in this world who would want to get bad news!
In this article, I want to share the good news which is incredibly special. The good news is called the Good news of Great joy. The Gospel of Luke records the Good News of great joy in Luke 2:10-12. It is about the great hero, Jesus Christ who overcame the most terrible news of the world, death. The Lord God amazed everyone who were seeking Him desperately from age to age by coming down as a mortal being to live with us and to save us!
The Lord Jesus Christ, became like one of us so that we can get to know Him better, see Him with our own eyes, and be saved from death by believing in Him. The Bangla translation of the word ‘Christmas’ is translated in Bangla as “Boro Din”, literally means ‘Big Day’. This day brings great news for all of us!
But can there be any good news without bad news? What is the significance of light without such darkness? So, what is the bad news due to which the good news of great joy has emerged? Therefore, in order to better understand how Christmas brought in the good news, we must first understand what the bad news was. When the bad news is worse, the greater is the news of its solution.
To understand how terrible this bad news was, we need to understand the terrible danger that occurred at the beginning of creation. Now the question is, what was the terrible thing that happened in the beginning of creation?
The oldest and most wonderful Scripture of the world, the Bible tells us that in the beginning, the Lord God created everything from nothing, step by step (Genesis 1). After finishing each step of creation perfectly, He examined it and expressed His satisfaction and said that it was good.
The Scripture says that after creating everything perfect, the Lord God created His beloved creation. He created humans in His own image, male and female. He created humans only when the whole environment was suitable and favorable for human habitation.
The creation was perfect and flawless. There was no suffering, no pain, no sickness, and no death. Imagine if there were no misery in our lives, if there was no disease, if there was no death, what would it be like? Yes, at the beginning of the creation, the days of man were filled with great joy. Then how was it ruined? How did this perfect creation get corrupted, how did human life come down to misery, disease, decay, and death?
God placed Adam and Eve, who were created in His image in a perfect environment. God commanded them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. He made it clear to them that if they eat the fruit, surely, they will die! But what happened?
Satan in the form of a serpent tempted them and said, "Neither will you die, but your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God!" (Gen 3:5). When they listened to the devil and looked at the fruit, it was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom. They disobeyed God's command and ate it because they were not satisfied with the way they were, they wanted to be equal with God!
God blamed Adam and Eve for their attitude more than the disobedience of eating the fruit because they doubted God's word, "On the day, you eat its fruit you will die." They explored the qualities of being equal to God by eating that fruit. As a result, when they disobeyed God’s command, they came under death. They had no hope for life as death came down upon human life. That terrible news came down not only on their lives but on all living beings.
Death descends on human life in two stages: In the first stage, the spiritual death, is the separation from the presence of God. Adam and Eve, died immediately, at that moment when they disobeyed God. Their life was degraded from infinite into finite. They were cut off from God's presence. Their days of joy turned into days of curse instead.
In the second stage, it is physical death. We all experience this physically and are usually familiar with. Although spiritual death came immediately, Adam and Eve were physically alive for a certain period because they had to suffer the consequences of their actions. We can call this intermediate time between birth and death, the second chance to repent of our sins, atone for it, and receive eternal life by surrendering ourselves to God and reconnecting with Him.
Unfortunately, due to the second death we are all born, helpless and weak. After passing through childhood and adolescence, we step into youthhood, then become fully grown adults, and when we grow old, we fall into the lap of physical death! This is the very reason that throughout the ages, people have cried out for deliverance from this cycle of death, sought ways to protect themselves.
In this case, many have sought ways to escape from this terrible news. The proof thereof is the presence of different religions in the world. We don't want to die, and neither does our loving heavenly Father want us to die! He does not want humankind to perish! He wants us to have life, life that is eternal. He has conveyed about the way from age to age to save our lives from death. In the end, He Himself left the throne of heaven and took earthly form to save the dying in this mortal world.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, how would you feel if the Prime Minister came to visit us today? Of course, we would feel happy, and greatly honored, won’t we? An even bigger event has occurred in the context of Christmas because the Lord of lords and the King of kings has come down from the throne of heaven, to live with people like us so that we can see Him with our own eyes, feel and touch Him!
When He came down, it was Christmas, a time of rejoicing and celebration for all of us, but have you ever wondered what it was like for Him?
For Him, it was helplessness, humiliation, and suffering death on the cross! For us the day of His coming was counting the day of salvation from the death, but for Him the day of his crucifixion. He came in the guise of a helpless human being and bore crucifixion of death on our behalf so that we may be freed from the bondage of death and enter eternal life. He has risen from the dead on the 3rd day for all of us and is now alive forever.
That is why this is the news of great joy. Behold, not only did his arrival in this world turn Christmas into the news of great joy, but what He has done for us, turned Christmas to the news of great joy.
I don't know what you are worried, overwhelmed, and scared about today! The presence of the Lord Jesus Christ can always turn our bad news into good news of great joy! Let us welcome Him!
Deacon Wailes Rangsa serves as the Principal of the College of Christian Theology, Bangladesh.
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