Too Good To Be True
As we continue to celebrate Advent we recount the amazing words of the angels that were shared with shepherds in a lonely field one night. A marginalized group of men, doing a dirty and thankless job, were surrounded by heavenly emissaries. The words of the angels were part of a long awaited announcement that the Savior of the world had finally arrived.
Their declaration was a promise of “good news.” The shepherds, that night, may not have fully understood just how good this news actually was. Sometimes, we too, forget how good the news of Jesus is. It helps to remember that news grows in goodness when contrasted with bad news. The shepherds didn’t understand how bad their plight actually was. Despite being under Roman rule, and despite doing a job that was despised by most of their Jewish neighbors, the true condition of their lives was much worse than they imagined.
In Jesus’s first publicly recorded sermon he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
In this sermon Jesus was letting the world know that there was really good news for the “poor,” the “captives,” the “blind,” and the “oppressed.” To be in just one of these conditions would be difficult, but the reality is that Jesus came for people who are poor, captive, blind, and oppressed. Unless we see ourselves in these desperate places the good news of Jesus will never be as good as it actually is.
On the cross, Jesus addressed and addresses our poverty through the richness of His righteousness. He delivered and continues to deliver us from the captivity of our sin. He restored and restores sight to our souls and minds that are darkened by evil and hopelessness. He overturned and overturns the oppression from this broken world with fresh light, life, and justice. This news is too good to be true. His work on the Cross is ongoing in us and the world. This is our hope. This is our good news!