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“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:7-8)
Today, we are going to talk about the second part of “What is the Gospel?” Last time, we talked about the first part. It was about Jesus’ birth, life, and suffering. Today, we will talk about Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension, and His second coming.
First, Jesus’ death is good news for us. I’ll explain why Jesus’ crucifixion is good news for you and me. We humans all die; we are all destined to die. Death is the consequence of sin. We are born as sinners, and because we sin, we face death eventually. The punishment for sin is death. So, death is an unavoidable part of our life. We need to accept our mortality.
But, Jesus wasn’t born as a sinner because He is the Son of God. Jesus was sinless. He didn’t know sin. Moreover, while living on earth, Jesus never sinned. So, Jesus had no reason to die for His own sins.
Nevertheless, Jesus willingly died on the cross for our sins. He bore the burden of our sins and was crucified. Jesus was hung up for our hang-ups. Our God is righteous. Our God is a God of justice. Justice means “rewarding good and punishing evil.” So, we should receive punishment for our wrongdoing, and Jesus should receive reward for His good deeds.
Our God is also a God of love. He loved the universe He created, especially the earth and the living beings on it. Among them, God loved human beings the most because He created them in His own image. Unfortunately, human beings sinned.
The God of Justice couldn’t withhold punishment from us for our sins. However, at the same time, the God of love couldn’t stop loving His creation. God needed a solution that could satisfy both justice and love, seemingly contradictory concepts. The solution was none other than “the death of Jesus.”
Those who commit sins should die. But in order to save those sinners from sin and death, Jesus, who was without sin and had never sinned, died for us. In other words, Jesus redeemed us on our behalf. Jesus died on the cross, fulfilling all of God’s righteousness. Finally, God’s wrath was appeased. God’s justice was satisfied. At the same time, Jesus’ crucifixion as the atoning sacrifice showed us God’s perfect love.
The offering that satisfies God had to be without blemish or spot. In Old Testament times, the Jews offered cattle, sheep, and doves as sacrifices to God on behalf of their sins. But these sacrifices were not completely capable of turning away God’s wrath against sin. Ultimately, the sacrifice that could completely atone for human sin had to be a righteous one, and since there were no righteous people on this earth, Jesus, who is righteous, sacrificed Himself on the cross on our behalf to pay the price for our sins.
As you all know, Jesus is the Son of God. God offered His one and only Son as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. People who are willing to die for the righteous are rare, but Jesus, who is righteous, died for sinners. Jesus’ death on the cross is the historic event that truly demonstrates how much God loves us.
When you hear the news that a family member or a relative has passed away, how do you feel? Is the news of someone close to you dying considered good news? No! Do you think that it is good news if someone died on your behalf? I mean it is the news that someone died “on the cross” on your behalf! Never! It’s a very very sad news. It’s a very very terrifying news. However, the Bible calls it good news for us. It’s the news that our sins have been completely forgiven. It’s the joyful news that we no longer have to suffer the consequences of sin. It means our sins have been taken away with the death of Jesus on the cross. Hallelujah! So, whoever believes in Jesus has their sins completely forgiven. It’s receiving salvation from God’s wrath. It’s receiving salvation from the punishment of death and eternal damnation in hell. Amen!
Secondly, the resurrection of Jesus is good news for us. Jesus, after bearing our sins on the cross, rose from the dead after three days. Why is Jesus’ resurrection good news for us? How does it relate to us, and why is it called good news for us?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is good news for us because it confirms that He is the Son of God. If Jesus had only died on the cross and not resurrected, His claim to be the Son of God would have been false. His resurrection is crucial evidence that validates His identity as the Son of God. Jesus was not a mere prophet who could die for us. Why? It is because He died and rose again from the dead. What I am saying is that Jesus is the Son of God. In other words, He is God Himself.
Furthermore, through the resurrection, the prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament and the words and deeds of Jesus during his time on earth have all been affirmed as the truth. Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is God Himself. So, the words of Jesus are the words of God.
Above all, the reason why the resurrection is good news for us is… We all face death, But like Jesus, we also will be resurrected from death. Do you believe that you will rise again later? If you don’t believe that you will rise again… That means you don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.
The Bible says that the resurrected body of Jesus was significantly different from the body before the crucifixion. Some people couldn’t recognize the resurrected Jesus (Luke 24:16). The most astonishing fact is that the resurrected Jesus entered a room where his disciples were staying, passing through the walls (John 20:26).
The Bible says that the resurrected body is as follows: It is not a physical body but a spiritual body. The resurrected body is an eternal, strong body that does not age, get sick, or die (Matthew 22:30). The resurrected body is a glorious body that does not decay. We will be like the angels.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die…” (John 11:25, 26).
We have hope in Christ in this life. And we also have hope for the future because we believe that we will rise from the dead.
Thirdly, Jesus’ ascension is good news for us. Jesus ascending to be with God in heaven is even better for us than him being with us on this earth. Why is it better for us?
Jesus told his disciples the following: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:7-8)
If Jesus remained on this earth in physical form, there would be limitations in spreading the gospel. However, with his ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Jesus, each of us can have the Spirit dwelling within us. This is immensely beneficial for us.
We confess our sins by means of the Holy Spirit and accept Jesus as our Savior. The Holy Spirit reveals the goodness and holiness of God to us. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit shows us that we can never become righteous on our own efforts. When we believe in the goodness and holiness of Jesus, the Holy Spirit reveals that we can also become good and holy. In other words, the righteousness of Jesus becomes our righteousness. This is the righteousness of God. Moreover, the death of Jesus on the cross is not a victory for the devil (Satan) but through His resurrection, Jesus has conquered sin, death, and most importantly, Satan. The Holy Spirit will convict and condemn the devil.
Jesus also spoke to his disciples about the Holy Spirit: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)
When we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit helps us understand the words in it. When we read the words and hear the words, the Holy Spirit guides our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us discern what is right and wrong in our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us discern what pleases God. And the Holy Spirit even reveals what the future may hold.
We cannot do everything on our own. We need help everyday and every single moment. When we make decisions, we need advice. When we search for something, we need help. When we decide where to go, what to do, and how to do it in the journey of our lives, we need a guide. The truth is that the Holy Spirit is our Guide.
Mark 9:23 says that nothing is impossible with Jesus. In other words, we can do all things by the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:12 says that we believers will do great things. We will do the same things as Jesus did, and we believers will do even greater things. In other words, we can do great things by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is indeed good news, as it goes beyond the limitations of being human, where so many things are impossible. It’s incredible news. Isn’t it?
Brothers and sisters, we can benefit from all these things because of Jesus’ ascension. So, Jesus’ ascension is not sad news for us but rather good news.
Lastly, the Second Coming of Jesus is good news for us. Jesus will come again. He will come riding on the clouds. When Jesus returns, those who died believing in Him will be resurrected first. Those who are still alive believing in Jesus will be caught up together in the clouds with them to meet Him in the air.
We believers will go to heaven with Jesus and live with Him forever. Jesus will judge Satan, the beast, false prophets, and those who do not believe in Him, casting them into the lake of fire, which is hell. This is the end of the earth. God will make a new earth and new heaven. Then, the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven, and those who believe in Jesus will live with Him in the New Jerusalem for eternity. So, the second coming of Jesus is good news for us.
Now, you’ve heard the full gospel. Please enjoy it and pray to live by it. And I’d like to encourage you to share the gospel with neighbors who haven’t heard about it yet. Let’s pray.