...Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "...Repent and believe the good news!"
Ok, this makes it clear that Jesus preached the good news. But what exactly is the good news? Is there a simple description or explanation of it somewhere in the Bible? Paul tells us in one of his letters:
1 Corinthians 15:3-6
...that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared
and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred...
Ok, but what does Jesus have to say about these matters? Did he ever actually speak about these events during his ministry? Did his actions stand alone, or did he also talk about them?
Mark 10:33-34, 45
"We are going up to Jerusalem," he [Jesus] said,
"and the Son of Man will be betrayed
to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death
and will hand him over to the Gentiles,
who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him.
Three days later he will rise."
...For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
I must admit that when I've read these words in the past, it didn't strike me that Jesus was actually predicting the future - his betrayal, his condemnation, his suffering, his death, and his resurrection. And he even tells us the purpose for which these things were to occur. He tells us in many different ways throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For example:
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
These are all incredible statements. They are also exclusive:
Salvation is found in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Peter was echoing the message of Isaiah:
...there is no other God besides Me,
A just God
and a Savior;
There is none besides Me.
Look to Me, and be saved,...
For I am God, and there is no other."
And Jesus claimed to be that Savior.
But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied...
Was Jesus lying or was he in fact God? When Pilate asked, "What is truth?" (John 18:37-38) Jesus didn't speak a response. The evening before at the last supper with his disciples, "Jesus answered, 'I am...the truth...'" (John 14:6)
This little exploration has given me a new curiosity to study the Jesus of the Bible.
What did he teach?
What did he prophesy?
What did he claim?
Who did people believe him to be?
Who do I believe that he was?
And what impact does that have on my life?
What is the height and depth and the vastness of the reality of the Good News?
1 Tim 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...
I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him, and he asked, Wherefore dost thou cry? -Pilgrim's Progress, by Bunyan