Best of Daily Reflections: The Core of the Good News
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
1 Corinthians 15:3
The Christian Gospel is a jewel with many facets. It embodies the love and mercy of God. It shines with his grace. It can be told in the form of a grand narrative, beginning with creation in Genesis and ending with the new creation in Revelation. Or it can be shared in a very personal way, as you speak of how God saved you by his grace.
But what is the core of the Good News? What are the essential tenets of the Christian Gospel? What must one understand in order to believe the Good News of Jesus Christ?
In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul summarizes the essence of the Good News. He does so using words that had been passed on to him by the very earliest followers of Jesus. These words focus on the saving work of God in Christ: "Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised form the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said."
The core of the Good News contains three verbs that express the saving work of Jesus Christ, who "died . . . was buried . . .and was raised." This is the center, not only of Christian faith, but also of human history. What Christ did on the cross, offering his life as a sacrifice, and what God did shortly thereafter, raising him from the dead, change everything. These actions are the pivot point to history. They deal definitively with the problem of sin and open up the possibility of new life for the world.
And also for you and me. The Good News of Jesus Christ is just a set of words unless we believe it and put our trust in the God who saves us through Jesus. Moreover, we not only trust God for salvation, but we continue to trust him each day. We who embrace the Gospel join our Lord in the work of communicating its message of hope throughout the world, both in our words and in our actions. Moreover, we join with believers throughout the world in the high calling of living out the Gospel each day, so that the world might be transformed by God's love and truth in Christ.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you staked your life on the core of the Good News? In what ways are the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ important to you? How do you live out the Gospel in your daily life? What difference does this Good News make in the way you will live today?
PRAYER: Thank you, Gracious God, for this marvelous, unique Good News. Thank you for its simplicity and power. Thank you for Jesus, the Son of God, who chose to die for us and our sins. Thank you for the fact of his burial, for the truth that he was really dead. Thank you for raising him from the dead on the third day, demonstrating that your plan of salvation worked. Sin is vanquished. Death is defeated. New life and new creation have begun! Hallelujah!
Help me, dear Lord, to live out the truth of this Good News. May I trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus each day. Help me to be a demonstration of the Gospel in the way I live in the world today.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, because you died, were buried, and were raised from the dead! Amen.