Jesus’ story survived, even without TV

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

News spreads within minutes these days.

Major earthquakes, fires in California or “leaks” in governmental investigations are spread around the world in minutes via 24-hour news channels.

However, the breaking news that weekend Jesus was crucified spread quickly even without sophisticated technology. Jerusalem was a packed city because of Passover, so word of mouth from witnesses who detailed the events of Jesus’ crucifixion no doubt spread rapidly through the city.

What if that had been today? CNN would have had special correspondents covering all the events, Fox News would have every talk show featuring the happening, and MSNBC would be covering it 24 hours, non-stop.

Correspondents would be stationed at the scene at Calvary, in Jerusalem, and reporters would be located in the garden to retrace the steps where it all began on Thursday night. One correspondent would have likely reported from the scene of the tomb. Then anyone who passed by or saw or had any knowledge of the whole ordeal would have been interviewed.

Yet, without all that modern media, the people of Jerusalem heard all about these events surrounding Jesus’ burial and resurrection.

They talked of how darkness came in the middle of the day, they discussed Joseph of Arimathea’s contribution of a new tomb, and they talked of the mock trial and Barabbas. No doubt it was the talk of all of Jerusalem.

Even two men, far away from the crowded city, were walking to Emmaus and talking about the events of that Sunday after the crucifixion (Luke 24: 13-35). One of the men was named Cleopas, and suddenly a third man appeared with them.

“What are you talking about?” the stranger asked. It was Jesus but the two men did not recognize him.

One answered: “You must be the only one in Jerusalem who doesn’t know. You don’t know what has happened in that city these last few days?”

The stranger asked them to tell him.

“We are talking about Jesus of Nazareth.” And the man recounted all the events — the trial, the crucifixion, the burial, the empty tomb.

Jesus answered: “Didn’t you know that the Messiah had to go through these things?”
Jesus explained to the two men why all the events in Jerusalem had happened, going all the way back to Moses and the references of a Messiah in the scriptures. Their talk lasted the whole walk to Emmaus.

When they arrived in Emmaus, the two men asked him to eat with them. Jesus took the bread and then blessed it, and that’s when they recognized him.

With that, Jesus immediately disappeared. The two men hurried back to Jerusalem, found the 11 disciples, and told them all that had happened. They spread the joyous news that the Lord had risen indeed.

Even without communication satellites and sophisticated news organizations and equipment, the story of Jesus has endured.

Why? The lives of those who have trusted him, who have believed in him, who have lived out the Christian gospel on a day-to-day basis have spread the good news of the gospel — the resurrection story is true.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: cbrandon@plateautel.net