The word “gospel” simply means “good news.” It is the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. To understand what makes the “good news” good, we must first explain the bad news. So bear with us - this starts off rough, but it gets better.
God created mankind to know him, to joyfully worship and obey him. You were created by God, to know him. You are fully known by God and loved by him. He made you to find joy in trusting him and obeying him.
But rather than living joyfully under his authority, we all have rejected him and his right to rule over us. This is the nature of sin – that we don’t acknowledge God in his world, we live in rebellion against him and in disobedience to his law.
Because God is perfectly just, he cannot leave our rebellion unaddressed. So, because of sin, we are separated from God and stand guilty before him. No amount of good works or religious devotion can defend us. We are destined for eternal punishment, separated from the presence of God who created us and loves us.
Also, because of sin, death and pain has entered the world. Where once there was only peace and harmony in creation, now we experience sickness, natural disasters, shame, guilt, insecurity, sadness, and death.
So, that’s the not-good news.
God is full of love, grace, and mercy. So, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a man. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to God’s law. And he died on the cross to take on the punishment for sin and to heal the effects of sin in us and in the world.
Three days after he was crucified and buried, Jesus rose from the dead – showing that, for those who trust him, death has indeed been defeated, the penalty for sin has been paid, and the power of sin over us has been broken. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God is making all things new – reversing the effects of sin in the world.
Now, Jesus calls us to trust in him alone (this is called “faith”) and to turn from our sin (this is called “repentance”). If we do so, we are forgiven for our sin, we are adopted into God’s family as his dearly-loved children, and we will live with God forever in the new heaven and the new earth in which there will be no more death, sadness, or pain.
In Jesus Christ, you are offered a way to be reunited with the God who made you, who knows you, and who loves you.