Ever ask this: ‘do you want the good news first or the bad news’? Then there’s always the line: ‘I saved the best news for last’. Pretty much our days are like that – good mixed with the bad, and some that are the best!
This week is called Holy week. During the last week of Jesus’ life on earth the disciples were part of some really good news days…and some really bad news days. There was what’s called the Triumphal Entry, where, as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the hearts of the people were moved to proclaim Him King. They greeted Him shouting “Hosanna” – literally “Save us!”“The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted…’Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “(Matthew 21:9 NIV)
But there were hardened hearts as well, blind hearts, arrogant hearts. All this celebrating Jesus moved their hearts to hatred and evil. Their plotting to rid themselves of the nuisance of a ‘Messiah’ was well underway.
As the week progressed, good news and bad news mingled. It also happened to be the week that led to the Jewish celebration of Passover, many people were coming and going and preparing.
This brings us to Maundy Thursday as it’s called on the church calendar. We now know it as the Last Supper. The one where Jesus would plainly tell His disciples His time to shed His blood for them, for us, had come. The one where they just didn’t get it. The one where betrayal would end the day.“The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: ‘You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.’ “ (Matthew 26:48 NLT)
Friday was a totally bad news day. Everything that could go wrong did. Jesus was under arrest, He was beaten and mocked, and ultimately crucified.
Saturday does not have a name. A while back I heard it called Silent Saturday. And it was. For the disciples and all who followed Jesus there was fear, uncertainty, and hiding – unbelief that the man they knew to be God’s own Son, had been brutally killed. Now what?
God knows us well and He saved the best news til last. Because Sunday did come, Jesus did not remain in the grave. He spoke and ate and rejoiced with those who knew Him for the next forty days. And indeed, those were all good news days. For from that point on, death was no longer to be feared – evil had been conquered – and eternal life with Jesus was available to all who would call Him Savior!
This is Easter – this is Resurrection Sunday – this is what it is all about. May our joy be contagious every day of the year as we share the GOOD News knowing it far out shadows any and all bad news days. “…suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them…’Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He has risen!’ “(Luke 24:4b, 5b, 6 NIV)