What's the best piece of news you ever received?
Maybe it was the day the love of your life said "yes" when you asked, on your knees, if she would marry you. Maybe it was the news that you'd just landed your dream job, the one you'd been aiming at for as long as you could remember. Or maybe the good news took the form of your newborn baby's very first hesitant cries—the sounds that told you she was alive and well.
Those are all examples of good news. Even if you haven't experienced a lot of good news yourself, you can probably think of other examples, from small pleasant surprises to life-changing developments.
But there's one piece of news so amazing, so transforming, that it's not just good news: it's the Good News. Something so wonderful that every other good thing that's happened to you simply pales in comparison.
So what is it? Here it is:
There is a God, he loves you, and you can know him personally.
That's it. Think for a moment about what that means: it means that there's something more to life than the daily grind. It means that pain, disappointment, and suffering are not the end-all-be-all of your life. It means that Somebody loves you without asking anything in return—no matter how messed up your life is, no matter what you've done.
This Good News is the main point behind the Bible, and it's not complicated. All you need to do to receive this Good News is believe it. Here's how it breaks down:
- You, like everybody else on earth, have made mistakes. To use a religious word, you've sinned.
- Your mistakes (sins) make it impossible for you to know God all by yourself. God is perfect and good in every respect, and sinful people can't even be in the presence of so much goodness. It doesn't matter if your mistake was a little one or a big ugly one—it's enough to separate you from God.
- God loves you, despite your mistakes, and wants to have a relationship with you. God came up with a solution to this sin problem—he sent his son Jesus to suffer the penalty that your mistakes deserve. Jesus took your mistakes upon himself so that you can be perfect in God's eyes. After committing this act of sacrifice, Jesus was raised from the dead and acts as a go-between for you and God.
- By simply believing in this—your sin, God's love, and Jesus' sacrifice—you can enter a relationship with God. That means that your mistakes are washed away and you're invited to live a new, transformed life—a life that's based on something more meaningful than money or power or keeping up with the Joneses.
That's the Good News: that there's more to life than what you see, and you can be a part of it—through Jesus.