I have something on my heart. Something that shapes me. Something that can shape you. Something that can shape the world. This something is called the Gospel. Doesn’t hearing that word ring a traditional tone? It scares a lot of people away. In a way, I can understand why. In a religious way, people have gotten caught up in the mechanics of the Gospel and there’s no heart change. This has caused a crazy amount of judgement, hypocrisy, and selfishness among those who claim to follow Christ. It leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. It’s the opposite of how it should be.
Let’s be really simple here. The word “gospel” literally means GOOD NEWS. That puts a little twist on things. Many people don’t view the Gospel as good news and that’s sad. It means, as “Christians”, we have really dropped the ball in a lot of ways, me included. So what’s the buzz about?
The Gospel is a true story about a man named Jesus Christ. He was God, with skin and bones. He was God in the flesh.
Why did He come? He came for you and me.
Sin is at the root of who we are as humans. We fight, we battle, we’re prideful, dishonest, self-seeking, nasty people. At the root of it all, we really are.
Despite all of this, Jesus came to earth for thirty something years to set and example of love and to suffer an undeserved excruciating death on the cross……for us! Why? BECAUSE HE LOVES US. Each of us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done.
What happened next changed the world………He rose again on day three. What does this mean? It means that He took all of our junk, all of our hatred and all of our evil to the grave. It means that Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. It means that He provided a way for you and me to have a direct, personal relationship with God.
Before Jesus came, there were many rules, regulations and laws required to follow God. There was a lot of religious stuff to do in order to earn favor. After the cross, Jesus got rid of all of that. Now, it’s not about what we do, or what we say, or where we go, or what we wear, or how we pray. It’s about what we believe and Who we believe in. All that’s required is belief in Jesus Christ, who He was and what He did. It’s by grace that this is done. Nothing we’ve earned and certainly nothing that we deserve.
What happens next is beautiful. Once we acknowledge Jesus as our God and Savior, change happens. Control is released. The realization of how temporary this life is begins to take shape. Perspective is changed. Blue skies become bluer. The grass looks greener. We begin to realize that we are made in the image of God. That we are special. That we matter. That, no matter what we do, whether we’re good or bad, happy or sad, we have a God who always loves us. There is no need to feel guilt, shame or condemnation anymore. Those were all taken care of on the cross. We are called to ask forgiveness and repent or turn away from our sins and we are forgiven. No hoops, no rites or rituals.
This is the good news friends! Through Jesus, we are set free! Through Jesus, we love more. Through Jesus, we find a peace that goes beyond understanding, We know that no matter how rough life gets, this is temporary. We have a home in heaven that is eternal. It will last forever. What a gift, what a hope, what an impossible thing to fully wrap our minds around!!!
Does life suddenly become perfect and problem free once we accept Christ? Heck no! We are guaranteed issues in life, big and small. What Jesus offers is peace, strength, perspective and hope AMIDST the troubles of this life.
We are all called to come as we are. With our baggage, our doubts, our questions, our fears, our failures, all of it. He knows who we are better than we know ourselves. So why not come? His desire is to have a relationship with us all.