The Christian announcement – the gospel – centres on Jesus. That’s the simple and joyful reality.
The Christian message also is beautiful and profound, open to expression in a rich variety of ways. After all, there are four New Testament gospels.
The simple complexity of Jesus’ truth means there are many, many great ways to speak truly about Jesus. I love that! And have a quick two point option to throw into the mix.
- We all judge Jesus as worthy of death
- God invites us to share his own view of Jesus, as Lord
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The events of Jesus’ life were remarkable: teaching, wonders, healing, gaining followers and enemies. Without doubt, Jesus’ impact came to its pinnacle in Easter week.
Jesus’ death at Easter was caused by … everybody.
Disciples abandoned Jesus or became traitor. Religious leaders condemned Jesus. The crowds who followed these leaders easily agreed to call for execution. And the world’s power, exemplified through Roman law, decided death was the only option for Jesus.
But God raised Jesus.
So now Jesus is alive. God’s view of Jesus has been established for all time: Jesus is the ruler of God’s people, and Lord of the world.
Thankfully, we can recant from our mis-judgement of Jesus. We can repent, and trust Jesus’ for forgiveness and new life.
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The biblical material I have in mind for this two point outline is mainly the preaching of Acts. Here are some of the verses from Acts, so you can test and see it this two point gospel is a fair summary.
Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead– by him this man is standing before you well.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear
And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
[Testifying] that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.