And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. 2 That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless it was for nothing that you believed.
3 I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; 4 that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, and afterward to all the apostles.
1 Corinthians 15:1-7
The word Gospel simply means “Good News,” and in a world where the news is rarely good at the moment, I wanted to share some very good news with you.
There was a man named Jesus, and He died.
On the face of it, that may ot seem like very good news at all, and certainly not for Him. But Jesus was no ordinary man.
Let me start at the beginning…
God created the heavens and the Earth, and part of that creation was us – humanity. We did not evolve from some etherial slime, nor did apes one day mutate into human beings. God made us; He fashioned us from the very dust of the ground and breathed spirit into us.
God lived with us, and gave us only one rule to follow. We broke it. That one act of disobedience shattered the world, and this we call “sin.” Sin is doing wrong things of course, but deeper than that, it is a nature we are born with. We sin because we are sinners, not the other way around.
God was just, and knew He had to punish sin. Yet He loved His people and did not want them to perish. So from that very moment humanity fell, He put into action a plan He had in mind from the very beginning.
God took human form. God became flesh. We know that flesh as Jesus Christ.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem a little over two thousand years ago. He lived a perfect life, a life where He never disobeyed God and a life untouched by the sinful nature the rest of us has.
According to God’s plan, the “religious people” of the time did not recognise Jesus for who He was, despite hundreds of prophecies which told of His coming. As He was upsetting their religious applecart, they betrayed Him and had Him arrested. He was put through several illegal trials, and despite a total lack of evidence, they convicted Him. Although having done nothing deserving of death, they executed Him on a cross.
Jesus died on that cross, and we know this for sure. He was buried in a tomb where His body lay for three full days. On the third day, when they went to anoint His body, they found the tomb empty and His body gone.
Jesus had defeated death, and come back to life again. I know it sounds far-fetched, but there were many witnesses who saw Him after He had died. Those who saw Him went on to die for their belief, and those few initial follows grew into the global church we know today.
What does this all mean for you, here and now in 2020?
The Bible, which is a recording of God’s teachings to His people, tells us that Jesus’ death was really the death that you and I deserve. He took our place. That sin which taints us all and did not taint Him, meant we could swap places. Jesus took on the death we deserved, and we, by putting our trust in Him, can go free.
Death comes for us all in the end. This current COvid-19 crisis may have made you think about it more than usual. For many of us, particularly the young, we don’t think all that much about it. But death is a certainty, and one we all face sooner or later.
The Bible says that one day we will all stand before God and give an account for our lives. There is essentially just one question for us to answer: “Did we believe and put our trust in Jesus Christ?” That is to say, “Did we accept His sacrifice to pay for our sin and put Him in charge of our lives? ”
If you faced death today, what would your answer be?
There is no better time than now to start a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Tell Him you believe in Him and what He did at the cross. Ask Him to forgive you, and surrender your life into His hands. You will never be truly free until you do.
If you make that commitment to Christ today, then I’d love to hear about it. Please get in touch or comment below. The Christian life is not an easy one, but the eternity will forever make up for any hardships of this earthly life.