By Elissa Macpherson
“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10–11
Good news! The cancer is gone. An infertile woman is pregnant. The war is over. A girl trafficked into the sex trade is rescued. A blind man can see. A prisoner on death row is given a pardon. Such good news, such profound happenings would cause great joy.
GOOD NEWS! THE SLAVE IS RESCUED!
Can you try to even imagine the relief, the sense of freedom, that a slave would feel when they are rescued from a life of enslavement, degradation and abuse?
Five girls were being sold for sex in a brothel in the Philippines. In October, this year, a Destiny Rescue agent reported this horrendous crime to the police. Within days they contacted the Destiny Rescue agent to coordinate a plan of action. During the night, the undercover agent made a transaction with the Madam creating a scenario that enabled the rest of the team to swoop in and rescue the girls. Good news, the girls were slaves but now they are free!
Before salvation, we were spiritual slaves to sin. We were slaves to our flawed humanity, slaves to our fears, to our failures, to our shame. Jesus came to earth and rescued us from spiritual slavery. Our fears, failures and shame were crucified on the cross. We were resurrected as children of God, rescued from sin, free to live in love. This is good news – “We are no longer slaves to sin” Romans 6:6.
GOOD NEWS! THE BLIND CAN SEE!
Can you imagine what it is to live in the dark? To never see a sunset? Never to see your mother’s face? Two-year-old Rama lives in Mombasa, Kenya. His mother noticed white spots in his eyes when he was a baby. Rama had cataracts and he was blind. He would walk into things and cry. He could not play ball or other childish games. His mother feared for his future, her heart broke for his blindness. Then her brother told her about a clinic, a clinic sponsored by Christian Blind Mission. They took Rama there and he had surgery to remove the cataracts. It was successful! Good news, Rama was blind but now he can see!
Once we were spiritually blind. Jesus came to earth and opened our eyes to see. Ephesians 5:8 explains, “For once you were full of darkness but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light”. Once we were blind to the glory of God, once we could not see the truth of who we were and who God is, but now we see. This is the good news; we were blind but now we see!
GOOD NEWS! THE PRISONER HAS BEEN SET FREE!
Can you imagine what it is like to sit in your prison cell waiting to be executed for your crimes. You know a cold cruel death is coming?
In 1987 Madison Hobley was convicted of killing his wife, son and five others in an arson attack. He was sentenced to execution. In early 2003 the Governor of Illinois, in his last few days of office, pardoned Mr Hobley and he was freed from certain execution. I cannot imagine what he felt as he walked out from the prison gates, to walk in freedom, to have life and liberty restored. Good news, Madison Hobley was on death row but now he had been redeemed.
Once we were on spiritual death row, condemned to die. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”. Sin condemned us to an ever after without God, without love himself, without light himself, without freedom. We were condemned to death. But the rest of Romans 6:23 gives us the good news, “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”. This season we are reminded of the greatest Christmas gift ever, the free gift of salvation. This is the good news, once we were condemned to death but now we have eternal life.
GOOD NEWS! HEAVEN COMES TO EARTH
This good news is not pleasant or agreeable – it is spectacular! It is not merely something nice happening, not merely an occasion that brings a momentary smile. The good news of Jesus is life altering, earth shaking, it is heaven come down, it is an indescribably profound joy. A joy that springs from a deeply longed for desire that is finally fulfilled. What joy! The slave has been rescued, the blind can see, the condemned is redeemed. Glory to God in the highest!
Elissa Macpherson is an author and speaker. Elissa lives to pursue the beauty of God and infuse that truth into the lives of women. She has written two books, “Beautiful” and “Mirror, Mirror”. Elissa is the social media editor for the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance and part of the Queensland Baptist Women “She is…” team that minister through events throughout the state. You can find her online at www.lavishpursuits.com.au