Over the years, as a younger Christian, I remember sitting in youth group or at church thinking “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the gospel like a hundred times. Can’t I hear something different and new? Can’t I hear something more advanced?” It seemed a simple story, something that I needed to know and after knowing it I could move on. It was a gateway into a greater Christian understanding from my immature perspective.
As I grew older, the idea behind this “gospel,” this “good news” that was supposed to be actual good news to me began to take root in my heart and mind. As I grow older and older, there is nothing more dear to me in Christian understanding than the simple concept that completely independent of my goodwill towards him, God loved me. And not just in a metaphysical lovey-dovey, everyone gets a hug kind of way, but in an overtaking, exploding over with joy kind of way. And he proved it by sacrificing what mattered most to him. Sacrifice is the proof of love and God sacrificed incredibly deeply and this truth brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
This is really good news! Something I once reviled as too simple to waste my time on is now the only thing I want to hear about! I need this simple reminder to constantly bring me back to the basics of who I am and what I am about as a follower of Jesus. As a new year commences, I wanted, not to resolve, but to dedicate myself to this good news. Sometimes I get bogged down in theory and heavy thoughts and I miss the point of this simple and joyous truth of the good news of Christ’s sacrificial love and death on a cross for you and me.
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” – Romans 5:7-9
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.” – 1 Corinthians 2:1-3