The gospel is a funny thing. The word means “good news”, and that’s what it is, but it will only be true for you if you never forget the bad news. The bad news is given to us very well throughout the Word of God. A loving God created a finite being in His own image to show His handiwork and display His purposes as a magnifier for His glory. This first man, and the woman God made from him, were given the ability to love God, or disown Him. They both chose the latter; they would never again live with God or enjoy His company.
You may be jumping off here as you ask, “So who says that was a bad decision? How do we know that God was worth knowing anyway? What if Adam and Eve made the best choice?”
I must admit, that there are plenty of days when I have and do ask myself that, ask God that. “So what is the big deal with knowing You? How are You really supposed to make my life better? Where is the advantage I am looking for? Are You really going to make my life better in seeking You?”
But, I don’t think that those are the right questions to be asking. I think God is waiting for us to ask, “God, what did you mean for me to enjoy with You. I don’t even know You and I’m not sure I want to; You need to give me some reason to want to be close to You if that’s what You have in mind.”
God is pleased not with right answers — of which we have none — but right questions. Questions that begin with him, and let Him reveal the end.
I don’t know about you, but I despise unknows. Yet, if we think about it for a moment, why are their unknowns? Could it because Someone is Unknown, Someone who would make sense of all the broken and disconnected pieces of information we hold in our hearts? We need more than just a space to work with all these puzzle pieces, we need the picture on the front of the box, and some glue would be nice too (once I see how all this fits together I certainly don’t want there to be any chance of it coming apart again; I would like to hang it on the wall in my bedroom where I can pause before it night and day).
Well, I have found the picture of what this puzzle’s supposed to be and the glue is holding this thing (and me) together better than I could have hoped for. I study the picture and try to apply it’s settings to the pieces I have in my hand at the moment and then I take the glue and let it hold everything together so I don’t have to anymore.
Alright, so lets get off the floor and talk about what’s behind that analogy. The puzzle is the world, our lives and ourselves. The picture on the front of the puzzle box is the Word of God, or it’s summary, the gospel. And the glue, is the Holy Spirit (one of the Person’s of God who comes to dwell in our heart and lead us into all truth when we accept Christ [the Son of God]as the good news of the gospel).
That last part sound confusing? Well, don’t be surprised, it should be. God never intended for us to be able to fully understand Him. (Sometimes I image I’m really close, and then I wake up from the dream to face reality!) But, what God did intend was for us to know Him and love Him based on what He would do to reveal Himself to us in our own language.
Think about it: Jesus Christ came to earth — where we live — with a mission. His one job while He was here was to be the Hero. Not just any one, but The Hero; the one the whole world would be looking for. This is not to say that the whole world would accept Him for the Hero He is, but that the whole world would be completely indebted to Him if they would be saved from complete and utter destruction. The Problem: Death. The whole world smells of death. The people in it are all dead, but don’t know it. If the Hero doesn’t save them they will be dead indefinitely — for all time and eternity.
What we forgot to meantion is that Jesus has come on God’s orders to save the very sinners that this holy God must kill for their obstinant rebellion. They have not only trangressed His law, they have offended His honor. The nature of His character has been deleated from their memory and they mock Him at every turn. To save them, God must display His true character to them through Jesus. These men, women and children have no idea how righteous, powerful, just of merciful this God is.
Therefore, Jesus will come to set them all straight. He will be the Hero who does what no hero has done before or since — He will become one of this, though He is God, and experience death; not just what it is like to live with what we have now, but to take on that second death too. He will die in our place and detroy the work of sin in our lives forever. All we have to do — since we know that this event has already taken place — is believe that Jesus Christ is our Hero, having died and rose again for us so that we might live the life of the never-dying in Him.
If that sounds good to you, you only have one thing to do: Tell Jesus He believe Him, Who He is and What He did and Who He did it for; you accept it as a gift, and you ask that His desires for your life be made complete in you by His power. Do that, and this becomes your new life story:
The true light [Christ] that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to all who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.