It used to happen every year at this time, before the demise of all of the print news magazines. During Holy Week, you could count on Time, NewsweekorU.S. Newsto “get religion” and feature a cover story on the life, death, resurrection or ministry of Christ.
I have copies of most of those stories saved. In fact, I checked my files for past Easter-week covers and here are some of the headlines: “Why Jesus Was Killed: Scholars find new clues about the crucifixion”, “The Last Days of Jesus: The new light on what happened”, “Who Was Jesus?: A new look at his words and deeds”, “In Search of Jesus: Who was he? New appraisals of his life and its meaning”,and “Rethinking the Resurrection: A new debate about the risen Christ.”
The stories always seemed to follow a similar pattern, pointing to new angle on an old story. In fact, that one word–“new”–is common to all those cover stories. It follows a basic principle of journalism: What’s the angle? And a story that is 2,000 years old has no new angle, unless, of course, you can create one.
That’s what these secular writers attempted to do each year, while trying to sensationalize a story about Jesus and sell a few magazines to their patronized religious readers. They simply tried to create an angle that makes the life of Jesus–and this Holy Week that is celebrated by billions around the world–newsworthy for a news magazine. Every year they would stretch and manipulate the story of Christ, interviewing a few so-called Biblical “scholars” who have come up with an updated, controversial angle on Jesus.
In some ways, I can identify. One of my greatest challenges is preaching the same Easter story that many of you have heard dozens of times, in a fresh and “new” way. The truth is, however, there’s not a lot that’s new about Easter, except that Jesus is stillalive and He continues to make all things newin our lives!
Come to think of it, that’s a great angle. The tomb is stillempty, and your life doesn’t have to be. Even after all these years, He still makes all things new, and the hope of new life in Christ is as fresh as it ever was. That’s good news if I’ve ever heard it!
I hope you’ll join us at Shelby Crossings on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the hope we have found in our risen Lord Jesus. It’s going to be a great day of worship, with a great faith family, and I hope you’ll be able to be with us. Likewise, I hope you can join us for our Good Friday service tonight, as we reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.
What a privilege and a joy it is to be your pastor. I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.