The Gospel Changes Everything
2 Timothy 1 : 9-10
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
The Gospel. Jesus' death and resurrection. It changed everything. It changed this sinful world, it changed you and me. It provides a hope that pervades everything we do, say, see, hope for.
It makes me think of how I have always pictured God's glory to look—rays of sunshine streaming from clouds to earth. The kind of beams you can actually see—not just a general lightening of an area, but physical sunbeams reaching the ground from behind gray clouds. There is a sense of hope and a feeling of joy welling up in my chest and the obligatory angel chorus going off in my head.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Without Christ's resurrection, there is nothing (1 Corinthians 15:17). No hope, no reason for our faith, nada. A bleak existence. Death for all. And that is the key. Without Christ's rising from the dead, even all the rest of the Bible doesn't have anything to offer.
It's hard to wrap my mind around—God coming as a man to die for a bunch of worthless creatures he loved THAT much. It's a tough concept, for “Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” (Romans 5:6-7) “Ungodly”—without God. A scary thought! Yet he died for each and every one of us, none of whom could even dare to live up to the designation of “a good man.”
I don't know when I first understood the Gospel. I probably even still don't understand it; who can grasp the “depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God[?] How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33) What I do understand is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9), a knowledge that God has extended an amazing grace to us through Jesus (2 Timothy 1:8-10).
I like what Amanda wrote on shereadstruth.com:
Don’t misunderstand. The mystery of the Gospel does nothing to negate its truth. Paul says in the scripture that “now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). We are children looking through a fogged up window at the glory of newfallen snow. We are wanderers lying in a field, staring up in darkness at a massive, star-filled sky. We see the truth and we know it – deep down inside, we know it. We cannot fully understand it, but that does not make it less true.
Personally, I am glad to not understand every little thing about the Gospel. Would Amelia Earhart's journey be as fascinating if she hadn't disappeared? And how about Jimmy Hoffa? Or magicians? There's a certain satisfaction to figuring out a card trick, but then watching it is just no fun! The spark is gone. There's a mystery there that we as human beings just love and want to try to solve and learn more about and dig deeper into.
What a great way to get into the Gospel! We will never stop learning.