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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thoughts About the Gospel

The word gospel means good news or glad tidings. I always found it interesting that two of the three elements of the gospel definition are not what would commonly be called good. Let’s look at them.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel. It is that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (verses 3b-4). The three elements of the gospel are:
  1. the death of Christ for our sins
  2. the burial of Christ
  3. the resurrection of Christ on the third day

All of these are according to the Old Testament Scriptures.

Then, 1 Corinthians 15 continues with proofs of the resurrection:
  • And that he was seen of Cephas, (verse 5)
  • then of the twelve (verse 5)
  • After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep (verse 6).
  • After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles (verse 7).
  • And last of all he was seen of me (Paul) also, as of one born out of due time (verse 8).

The death of Christ on the cross to pay for our sins is actually good news, simply because without Christ’s death on the cross, we would have to atone for our own sins by suffering in hell forever. Instead, by putting our faith in His work (the just for the unjust 1 Peter 3:18) we can go to heaven. We don’t get there on our merits, but by faith in His death on the cross in our place. (1 Peter 2:24) The impetus behind His paying for our sins was love. (John 3:16) Praise God for His love and for His sacrifice!

The burial of Christ in the tomb is also good news. The good news is that, even though He died and was buried, He wasn’t going to stay dead and buried. The empty tomb is testimony to His death and resurrection. Matthew 27 describes Jesus’ death, Joseph’s binding Him for burial, His burial in a new tomb with a stone rolled against the entrance, and the soldiers making sure it was sealed and guarded. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:17-18).

The resurrection of Christ is the best news of all! It’s the culmination of the good news.

If Jesus had only died, He would be dead. He would have accomplished only part of the gospel, only the first part.

If Jesus had only died and been buried, He would have accomplished only the first two parts of the gospel.

But, with the resurrection . . . what power! With the resurrection, there’s life. There’s life for Jesus, God in the flesh, the Son Who now sits at the right hand of the Father. And, there’s life available for you and for me.

If you think about it, there are many founders of religions who are dead. You might even be able to visit their tombs.

But Jesus, He’s alive! More than five hundred people were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life after His crucifixion.

For history to be deemed trustworthy, you need two eyewitnesses. Think of it: when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15, many of the original five hundred eyewitnesses of Christ’s resurrection still lived.

Read these passages from Matthew 28. This is evidence of the biggest cover-up in history: And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted (verses 2-4 and 11-17).

Can you imagine knowing that Jesus had risen from the dead, and covering it up—for money? Can you imagine doubting the fact, even after seeing Him with your own eyes? Sadly, this is what happened.

Later, the disciple Thomas doubted. When Jesus showed Thomas His pierced hands and side, Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).

Do you believe in the resurrection? Do you believe Jesus lives?

Do you rejoice in the gospel?

Have you believed in Jesus Christ, even though you have yet to see Him with your eyes?

Blessed are they that have not seen, 
and yet have believed.


  1. Si, creer en todo lo que Jesucristo hizo por nosotros es lo mejor que me ha pasado en la vida. Gloria a Dios.

    1. I am glad for you, Tere. My hope is that all people would believe in the Lord. God bless you.


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