"But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went." (Acts 8:4 New Living Translation)
Many translations of the Bible use the word “Gospel” where the NLT uses “Good News,” but they both mean the same thing. What was the Good News? It was, in a nutshell “…that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV)
It meant that a sacrifice had been made that would carry more saving power than the ones they had been making since the days of Moses. “For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1b-4 NIV)
In essence the millennia of alienation from God was coming to an end because a sacrifice for sin had been made for all mankind, not just the Jews, one that would satisfy God’s wrath and bring intimacy with the Father. The old sacrificial system could never transform us from the inside out. Jesus’ sacrifice—death on the cross and ultimately his resurrection—changed all that.
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39 NIV)
We have all heard of the most famous Scripture in the Bible, John 3:16. One I never hear mentioned is, to me, just as powerful: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.” (2 Tim 2:8-9 NIV)
This passage makes two very important statements about Jesus. The first one is that He was raised from the dead. If He had only been crucified, He would have been just one more irrelevant philosopher or popular leader. But His resurrection broke the power of death and sin forever, giving freedom to those who put their faith in Him. (see John 8:36 NIV)
The second statement is that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies which had been made about Him over many centuries.
Acts 13:23 NIV: “…From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.” Here Paul is addressing the synagogue in Antioch, reasoning with them from scripture, showing them how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Messiah. He finishes with this: “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.” (v. 32)
Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, had come to be substitutional sacrifice for our sins, reconciling us to the Father.
That is Good News indeed!
© 2018 Darvis McCoy
About the Picture: Taken by Darvis in 2008. These ancient tombs are on the road up Mt. Carmel. Today they offer a perfect visual for us and a reminder that though Jesus was laid in a tomb like this, He is not there. He has risen!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™