I could use some good news. Just this week, I’ve had friends dealing with ill parents, death of parents, marital issues, parenting struggles, young adults struggling with the faith that now feels more like their parents than their own, and the list goes on and on. I struggle to leave these burdens with Jesus and more often than I would like to admit, try to carry them on my own. I strain under the weight and my heart longs to see the good in the midst of pain. That’s the very real but very raw place I find myself in just a week before Christmas and I’m reminded that Jesus told us that in this world, we would have trouble (John 16:33), but He also gave us two things to cling to – peace can be found in Him and we can take heart because He has overcome the world.
As I mentioned earlier this month, I’m reading Revelation along with the Christmas story in Luke. Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, the King of Glory born as a baby in a dirty stable, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Revelation shows the Lamb also as the roaring Lion of Judah which is how the world will see Him when He comes again. All who have now been given the opportunity to worship Him for who He is will one day be forced to recognize Him as every knee will bow before Him.
In Luke 2, an angel appears to the shepherds and tells them the good news of Jesus’ birth:
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
In Revelation 14, an angel once again proclaims the Good News that John calls the eternal Good News:
6 And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.”
The message of the Christmas story is that Jesus has come as our savior and He comes in peace. The message in Revelation is that at the end of time, Jesus will take His rightful role as judge. And this is the ultimate Good News, that one day all the wrongs will be righted, all tears will be wiped away and good will win. Pain, heartache and death will be over when the Lion roars.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach