News is not news if it’s something you already know.
Most of us think that the Gospel is something we already know. I was bad (but not that bad) and Jesus has come to make me better; and I get heaven too! This is not the Gospel. We have forgotten from where we’ve come. We were never anywhere close to being good and we’re not getting much better. Indeed, getting better is not the point. Jesus did not come to make good people better; He came to bring dead people to life.
It seems the only explanation to our lackluster approach to the Gospel is that we do not really believe that it is Good News. Or at least, we have misunderstood the News we have received. If it’s not news, it’s not a big deal and it’s certainly not worth sharing. When it comes to the Gospel, this is when no news is bad news. We have no news to share because we don’t think the Good News is all that good. I don’t need anyone to tell me that I am not real good but I’m not that bad either. I don’t need anyone to tell me that I’m doing pretty well without Jesus but with Him I could do better. I don’t need anyone to tell me that I could choose a religion to follow that is superior to all others. That’s not Good News. And if Jesus is my model to follow, that’s crushing news! And if, when I die I get heaven, that’s not really news either. I was kind of thinking I was going there anyway.
The Gospel (“the Good News”) is first “News”. It’s something we did not know, and would never know had God not made it known. It is News. It is a declaration. It is a proclamation of an event that has come to us in the form of a Person. News needs a herald and this News has been heralded by God Himself. In fact, He told us it was coming. He prepared us for this News but we missed it. And who could blame us. This News has no comparison, no rivals, no precedent. This is truly breaking news.
This News is breaking because it did not come from any man. Only God could bring this News. Indeed, to study the theological thread leading up to Jesus there was no resurrection theology. The resurrection was a complete departure from Orthodox Jewish theology. No one saw this coming. But suddenly, after the Christ event (His birth, life and teaching, crucifixion, and resurrection) there emerged a clear resurrection theology (or better, Christology) that changed everything.
This was the breaking News of heaven- that Jesus had lived the perfect life so that we wouldn’t have to. No longer are we crushed under the weight of God’s holy demands; they have been met in the One who came to fulfill the Law. He suffered and died in our place so that there would now be no condemnation for those who are covered in His righteousness. He rose again so that we too could live in the power of the resurrection power and in the hope of our own coming resurrection. We were brought from death into life. To say this News is “Good” News is an understatement. “Great” doesn’t qualify this News. This News is the heaven-breaking, earth-shaking, life-rescuing grace of God that has come to us through the One and Only Son of God.
We need to rediscover the Gospel. We need to scrutinize it, get underneath it, on top of it, and all over it. We need to obsess over the Gospel. We cannot study it enough. We cannot think about it enough. We cannot talk about it enough. This is the News that keeps on coming and is constantly new News to our feeble minds and our wayward hearts. This is the News to which are now heralds!
Praise God for the Good News of the Gospel.