The gospel message—that salvation is available through faith in the crucified and resurrected Jesus—is the most important news possible for humanity. Any other news pales in comparison. Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. On the third day he rose from the tomb, having defeated sin once and for all. The resurrected Jesus appeared to many people before ascending into heaven, where he now reigns. One day he will return for his church and take them to live with him forever in the new heaven and earth. This is wonderful news that needs to be proclaimed for all the world to hear!
On the Easter just before he died, William Sangster painfully printed a short note to his daughter. A deeply spiritual minister, he had been spearheading a renewal movement in the British Isles after World War II. Then he contracted a disease which progressively paralyzed his body, even his vocal chords, taking away his ability to preach. But the last Resurrection Sunday he spent on earth, still able to move his fingers, he wrote: “How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ‘He is risen!’ Far worse, to have a voice and not want to shout.”
We Christians do indeed have something to shout about in the risen Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ! However, unbelievers have continually tried to get us to be quiet about our faith, or to renounce it altogether.
About 1930, the communist leader Bukharin travelled from Moscow to Kiev. His mission was to address a large assembly about the subject of atheism. For a solid hour he ridiculed Christianity. At last he was finished and looked out at what seemed to him to be the smoldering ashes of men’s faith. “Are there any questions?” Bukharin demanded. A solitary man arose and asked for permission to speak. He mounted the platform and moved close to the communist. The audience was breathlessly silent as the man surveyed them first to the right, then to the left. At last he shouted the ancient Orthodox greeting, “CHRIST IS RISEN!” The vast assembly arose as one and the response came thundering back, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
Yes, my friends, we do indeed have something to shout about in the risen Jesus! May nothing ever take away our desire to proclaim this wonderful news!