The term Gospel comes from the greek word εὐαγγέλιον or it’s english transliteration euangelion (eu- “good”, angelion- “message”) which simply means “good tidings” or “good news” . Yet we should immediately ask ourselves the following questions: (1) the good news about what? And (2) what makes this news good?
The Bible systematizes the gospel for us as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ 1 Cor 15:1-5, but the gospel in itself does not just consist of the works of Christ but also of His person Mrk 1:1, Acts 8:35. We must take into account who Jesus claimed to be, the Son of God! For only one such as He is capable of accomplishing the works of the cross.
Sin and the Cross
It’s been said that “the issue in salvation is not sin but a man” and in some sense this is true but yet this remains too vague, for it is written that “Christ died for our sins” 1 Cor 15:3 and nothing else. God Himself set up the cross to deal specifically with sin. Jesus as “the Lamb of God” was one who at the cross “took away the sin of the world” John 1:29. At Calvary the shed blood and atoning death of Christ paid our sin debt to God in full. The sacrifice of Himself met the righteous requirements of the Holiness of God thus enabling God to forgive us. You see friends the cross was God’s instrument, used to deal directly and entirely with our sins.
The Gospel message is a message that literally puts us to death Rom 6:3, Phil 3:10. It assaults us, showing no mercy as it kills us while putting to death our old sinful flesh Rom 6:6,Col 1:22, Gal 5:24. It is only after one is crucified with Christ that he can than begin to live with Christ Gal 2:20. It is only after one recognizes his sin that the good news truly becomes good. This is the reason why Jesus died on the cross, to bring freedom to the slaves; liberty to the captives, for Christ himself declared “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32.
The Glorious Resurrection
The works of Christ are amazing all together but the cross would be simply vanity if it was not for the empty tomb. The resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, substantiated his Person and works on the cross. In other words, the resurrection was Gods public announcement to the world that He accepted His Son’s sacrificial work thus authenticating who He claimed to be, for it is written that he was “declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead” Rom 1:4. This is the true Gospel message that Jesus went to the cross and conquered our sins thus enabling us through His resurrection to be delivered not just from the penalty of sin but also from its power Rom 6:4. What a wonderful plan that God worked out for us.
“Run, John, run! The Law commands!But gives me neither feet nor hands.Far grander news the Gospel brings:It bids me fly and gives me wings!” – John Bunyan