On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That much is clear. What is not clear to many people, however, is what the resurrection means to Christians and why we would make such a big deal of it.
The resurrection only makes sense if we first understand what the Christian “gospel” is. In the ancient world, the word “gospel” was a media term referring to the announcement of an important or happy event. Christians adapted the word to refer to a world event they consider the most important and joyful.
What is the Christian gospel? It is the good news that, at a certain point in this world’s history, God became present to us in the man named Jesus, who we can know, love, and serve.
Through Jesus’ incarnation (“God taking on flesh”), life and ministry, death and resurrection, he defeated the worldly powers that oppress us, and made a way for we who are sinners to live in unbroken fellowship with God who is holy.
The Christian gospel is a factual statement. You can believe it or not believe it. But as Christians, we believe that it is not merely true; it is the most important truth in the world.
It is one that we cannot relegate to the private dimensions of life; it radiates outward into our public speech and actions.
It cannot be hidden within the four walls of our churches; we must make it known to the world.
In fact, immediately after he rose from the grave, Jesus appeared to his followers and gave them a command that Christians call the “Great Commission.” In this commission, he reveals three powerful truths about the resurrection:
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