From bad news to good news
By Ron Otto, preaching minister
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[April 18, 2014]
Nearly 20 years ago, at the
height of Operation Desert Storm, Ruth Dillow received a very sad
message from the Pentagon. The message stated that her son, Clayton,
had stepped on a landmine in Kuwait and was killed.
Ruth later wrote these words: "I can't begin to describe my grief
and shock. It was almost more than I could bear. For 3 days I just
wept. I expressed anger and loss. For 3 days people tried to comfort
me but nothing worked ... the loss was simply too great."
three days after she received that message, the phone rang. The
voice on the other end said, "Mom, it's me. It's Clayton. I'm
Ruth said, "I couldn't believe it at first. But then I recognized
his voice and realized he really was alive. The message was all a
She said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels
because my son who I thought was dead was actually alive."
This Easter season, we come to a story that is very similar. The
disciples, family members, those who were at the cross have all
received the news that Jesus has died. This was very bad news for
them. However, just three days later, they were awakened to really
good news. Jesus was alive again!
What's the big deal? Why is His resurrection so important?
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Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14 and 17: "If Christ has
not been raised from death, then we have nothing to talk about
and you have nothing to believe. If Christ has not been raised,
then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your
sins." Paul says that the resurrection is the cornerstone of
This Easter, all around the world, billions of people will be
celebrating resurrection from the dead. And more than anything else,
people are going to be talking about Jesus. He's more than just a
myth; He's a fact in history. In fact, we date our calendar by Him.
Jesus has become our world's central reference point. Just one
person divides all of history into A.D. and B.C., and He's the
crucial crux of everything that's ever happened.
Why did anyone every consider Jesus that important? Because He's
the only religious founder to ever beat death. And the dude who can
beat death gets everyone's attention.
[By RON OTTO, preaching minister at
Lincoln Christian Church]