The Gospel: Introduction
Imagine opening your eyes to every color, vibrant, true and bold…your mind trying to take in the bluest blues, reddest reds and yellowest yellows with one glance of your head sweeping right to left. At the same time, you hear waves crashing, birds chirping, wind rushing and seals barking…the cool, wet breeze against your face, the cold sweat from the walk up the hill, the sleepy-eyed blink and the warm pockets occupied by restless hands. It’s 4am staring to the east from Byron Bay, Australia’s most easterly point, looking into the vast Pacific Ocean at a majestic summer sunrise.
I remember saying to myself under my breath, “I want to take in this entire moment and not forget even the most insignificant detail.” It was one of the most complex, multi-sensory, peaceful, awe-inspiring moments of my life. To make the moment more startling, I recognized that by the time I scanned the horizon from right to left and back to right, the sky had changed ever so slightly. It was different, just as beautiful, but different.
It was simply the most complex moment of my life – a simply complex sunrise.
When I try to put words to describe what the Gospel is, I’m taken back to that summer day many years ago. The simplicity and the complexity of that sunrise speak to me about the complexity and simplicity of the Gospel. The good news of reconciliation, the cross, divine rescue, hope, love and God leaves me awkwardly speechless, rambling and tongue-twisted at the same time.
The overwhelming revelation of God, the revealing impact of sin, the generous sacrifice of Jesus, and my adequate response of true repentance are simultaneously linear and abstract. Pondering these deep truths is like looking at that sunrise in Byron Bay, glancing from right to left in amazement and wonder, only to find myself retracing from right to left, but seeing it again – old, but new – a new beautiful scene.
I’ve resolved that the Gospel is both more simple than I realize and more complex than I can grasp. I’m okay with that, because every glance at the Gospel is more inviting, more awakening, more engaging than the last. It begs me to breathe in every aspect as if it will be my last.
This is the Gospel: God, limitless in authority and power, was determined to provide an adequate solution to the disastrous pain of sin. The separation that sin has caused between humanity and God needed resolve. Jesus came to be the perfect and full payment for sin. We can enter back into harmonious relationship with God through faith in Jesus and true repentance.
Help me to learn more about this beautiful Gospel. Open up my heart and mind for a new revelation of your goodness. I pray for clarity, boldness and joy as I search the Scriptures.