First, we need to go back. Like, a long way back. The story of God and humanity begins in Genesis. God creates the world and everything in it. His creation culminates in man and woman, whom God says are made in His image (a revolutionary concept). God places them in a garden and gives them dominion over all creation. He tells them to be fruitful and multiply; their job is to create and flourish as man and woman made in the image of God. He gives them one command: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Spoiler: they didn’t listen.
A serpent comes and begins to plant questions and half-truths into their heads with questions like, “Did God really say…” and tells them that they will become like God if they eat the fruit of the tree. Adam and Eve choose to eat the fruit, and the Bible says, “The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.”
In a split second, sin enters the world, and Adam and Eve begin to feel the shame of their nakedness and the shame of their decision and try to hide from God. Humanity and the world will never be the same. Sin enters the world and begins to destroy not only people and their relationship with God but all of creation.
The decision Adam and Eve made, which many of us still make today, is believing they knew better than God. So when Adam and Eve took the fruit and ate it, they thought God was holding out on them. They believed there was a better way of life than God had laid out, and they decided to take matters into their own hands. Sound like anyone you know?
However, after this, God resolves to one day prepare a way to restore humanity back to himself, which is the good news of Jesus. If you’re like us, we love good news. We can’t help but share when we have good news. Whether you got hired for the job or discovered that your crush likes you back, the good news is thrilling, sending a jolt of excitement through your body. That’s how we feel about the good news of Jesus.
Sin enters the world through Adam and Eve, and we all experience its death, brokenness, and corruption. No one is free from sin because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are lost and sinful and need to be rescued by someone who is without sin, faultless, and can show us the way back to God. That someone is Jesus.
Have you ever been lost? It’s hard to imagine in our smartphone, GPS-ridden society, but it still happens. Maybe you’re traveling in a new city or out on a hike, and you find yourself lost. You got turned around and lost your baring. Eventually, you find your way back. If you think about a time when you were lost, did you think you were dumb or unintelligent? Or were you morally deficient because you didn’t know where you were? No, of course not! Being lost isn’t an indication of who you are; it’s an indication of something happening to you.
In Luke 19:10, Jesus makes a profound statement that He has come to seek and save the lost. This is profoundly good news. God has sent Jesus into the world to seek and save us; at some point, we’ve all been lost.
God, rich in mercy and grace, sent His Son into the world to save it. The second member of the Trinity is put on flesh and blood and is called Jesus Christ. Jesus was fully God and fully human. He had bones, skin, and fingernails; he got hungry, took naps, and even occasionally got mad (for a good reason).
The good news of Jesus is anytime we announce anything about Jesus, his birth, death, incarnation, miracles, and parables, anything in his name proclaims the gospel, or the good news, of who Jesus is and what He did. The theologian Scot McKnight says, ‘The gospel is the gospels”. Meaning everything that is found in the four gospels of Scripture is the gospel of Jesus. The gospel of Jesus is not one singular act; it’s everything Jesus ever did.
The part of the story that many people know is that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross, experiencing the total weight of humanity’s sin at that moment. Yet, the glorious news is that he did not stay dead. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave and cemented Himself as the great high priest and conqueror of sin and death. The lost can be found. The prisoner was set free. The dead are brought back to life.
Jesus has made a way back to God, and all of humanity is offered a chance to escape God’s wrath for their sin. Sin is detestable to God and will one day be punished and wiped out by God’s wrath and power. When we believe in the saving work of Jesus found in his life, death, and resurrection and confess His rule and reign, we are saved and restored to a perfect relationship with God.
We are made right with God and flourish in our relationship with Him, others, and the world around us. We dwell in peace with God, with each other, and with the natural world because the gospel of Christ has rescued us.
Romans 3:21-26, 6:23, 10:9-13
1 Timothy 1:15-17