The preacher after expounding the scripture dynamically to the church on that Sunday morning took a deep breath followed by a sip of water and proclaimed “This!, is the Gospel my dear people. God , yes God, the creator of the universe, supreme commander of the heavenly host, to whom none can compare and whose wisdom no one can match or even measure, this God loved you and gave himself up for you so that you may not be punished for the sin that you were born under and the sins you commit. He took the form of a man. Now pause and think of that last sentence. It’s deep. God became man. Man a mere mortal, Man who is his creation. God the creator took the form of a man. The infinite, invisible, incomprehensible, divine took the form of a finite, carnal and limited man. He did that because there was no other way by which you and I could have been saved from the inevitable end of death that awaited us. There was no way that we could escape the wrath of God. Jesus paid the price with his blood. The son of God bled and died so that we the children of God will have life eternal. He died in our place to appease the wrath of God. And then He rose from the dead conquering death once for all that we too may rise and live with God and worship him forever. This is the Gospel! Hallelujah! We are free to worship God. We are loved and saved by him and reconciled to him”.
The preacher took another deep breath and looked at the congregation eagerly. The congregation was unmoved. He looked at them again, there were people who were looking at the big clock hanging in the room. There were people waiting for him to get it over with. A few people had already walked out. There were people playing with their mobile phones. There was an atmosphere of dullness in the room. It seemed that he was the only one excited about what he had just spoken. He was puzzled as he had not exceeded his time; in fact, he still had a good fifteen minutes left. Those who appeared to be listening to him were beaming the attitude of “Hey I knew that, tell me something new, something I don’t know” back at him. People sitting in front of him who had heard the gospel but were not excited about it again. The gospel of Jesus Christ had become just another story to them. He felt sorry for them. After the ten to twelve seconds of silently looking at and analyzing the congregation he bowed his head and said, “Let us pray…”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a fairy tale. It is not a lullaby. It is not just a feel good tale of heroism. It is not a record of some abstract phenomenon. It is not just a sad tale of an innocent man being put to death brutally for no fault of his. It is not a story that amuses us when we initially listen and understand it and then loses its charisma and effect when we hear it over and over again as time goes by. It is what defines our faith as a Christian. Christ Jesus the son of God is the pivot of our faith. What He did by dying on that cross and rising from the tomb is the most significant thing that He did for us. It ought not to just pass us by as something that is history. It speaks life and must cause us to worship God whenever we hear it.
Before the foundations of the world God had you in mind and planned the course of events such that you will be saved, such love should bring us to our knees in submission and worship. The gospel is the act of God that He planned and brought to pass through the ages. He chose a nation, He chose people, He chose prophets, He led his people, He taught them, and He loved them as we read in the Old Testament. It was all of God at work to bring the cross to pass. You say, “Wait a minute! You mean that Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Israelites, David, Isaiah… all of them were part of God’s plan to bring about the death of Christ so that I may have life?” Yes! It was God at work all the time for the showdown at the cross. The death of Christ brought us reconciliation with God. It is the pivot of our faith. It the greatest thing that can and has happen to us. As He rose, He conquered death and sin forever. We who had no hope now had hope in him.
Why does the gospel sound so dry to us at times? Why does the greatest and most significant story ever told sound boring to us? The love of God that was displayed on the cross ought to cause us to worship. It is not a story that needs to be reminded to us on a Sunday morning. We don’t live our lives ignoring or taking lightly the fact that Jesus died and rose and then remember them only as we bow our heads as we break bread and partake of the cup. No! The gospel is something that we live by. It is what gives us hope. We worship God for it. The cross enables us to worship God for who He is and in a manner that He deserves. The cross has turned religion into a beautiful and holy relationship. Worship is a lifestyle and we need to be worshiping and acknowledging God in everything we do. We have been created to worship God. If we do not worship God then we are not fulfilling the purpose of our existence and we would have never been able to do that. We, as the bible says, had fallen short of his glory. It was just not possible to enter into his presence because we were not up to His standards and we could never be on our own. God saved us from this fallen state and there was not an iota of good in us that would cause Him to save us but it was his Love and at what price it came it came at the cost of God being Holy to bear the sin of the world. He who knew no sin had to bear your sin and pay by death.
If you think that you deserved to be saved because of the good you did. If you think that you are saved but that is just something that you heard a long time ago but it just isn’t real to you except or probably once in a while on a Sunday morning if you happen to be in church and the preacher explicitly mentions it and then you forget about it as you leave church. If you think that you are saved and still find pleasure walking in the ways of wickedness lie you used to. If you think you are saved but there is no fruit in your life, no worship, no desire to be with him, no impact of the cross of Jesus, no desire to carry your cross daily and follow him, no love for the Lord, then let me break it to you that perhaps you need a savior. The Gospel is alive and transforms people. It drives them. There is a change in ownership, a change in attitude, a change in thinking, a change in preferences, a change in lifestyle, and a change in citizenship, a change that was planned by God a long long time ago, because He loved you.
I pray that we be people who are forever grateful, forever thankful and forever worshiping Him for who He is and what He has done. I pray that we be people who are excited about what God has done and not just sit back and keep it to ourselves. I pray that we be people who live our everyday life with God remembering what He has done for us on the cross. Let’s not take lightly the greatest, most peculiar and significant sacrifice ever. Let us embrace God and love him.
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