“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19
These are the first words of Jesus recorded in Mark, and they are overwhelmingly positive words as well. It can sometimes feel hard to find good news. Often this is a result of the many disastrous events that happen in our world every day. It can also be easy to assume that in general people only want to hear bad news. It seems to travel so fast and be consumed so readily, but occasionally, something truly good manages to break through and capture our imaginations instead.
Take the story of three year old AJ found after three days lost in the bush. This news spread quickly and the universal reaction to it was immediate joy and relief. What made this news so good, was that it was the result everyone was hoping and waiting for, but also the result that was seeming less and less likely as time passed. Many feared the worst, but AJ was now alive, he was lost, but he had been found.
What made Jesus’ words in Mark 1:15 so compelling to those who heard it first was that they too were waiting and hoping. They had a hope that God would fulfil his promise to raise up a new King, but they had no idea how or when this could take place. Jesus promised them that the time was here, and that it was time to return to God and trust in the Gospel, or Good News. that he was promising. It would then take the rest of the book of Mark to unpack what was truly meant by this.
Let’s not lose sight of just how good the news of the Gospel truly is for us today as well. Without it we are lost and dead in our sins, but with it we are found and have new life through Christ.
Dear heavenly father, thank you for the hope of the good news that Jesus brought. Please help us to never lose sight of our need for your forgiveness, or that Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross. Thank you for the new life that you give us in Him. Amen.
Rev Andrew Goddard
Assistant Minister | Youth and Evangelism