Christianity is the world’s biggest religion. There are all sorts of historical and philosophical reasons why Christians believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Israel more than 2,000 years ago is so significant. The Bible dares to say that it is good news for the entire human race. Here are just five reasons why we are so excited about Jesus and why He is really good news.
We get a clean slate
“She did it!” “No, it was his fault!” No one likes to make mistakes, and even worse, we don’t like being caught out. Too often people blame someone or something else for their own mess but it doesn’t deal with the guilt we carry around inside. The great news is that God has made a way for us to be completely innocent, and it has nothing to do with us. In dying on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we rightfully deserve for breaking God’s laws and for hurting others – so that we don’t have to. Put simply: we did the crime and Jesus did our time. This is mercy and it is offered to all, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we’ve been. When we trust Christ and receive His forgiveness, God swaps our record of sins for Jesus’ perfect record, and in His eyes we are no longer guilty. Jesus’ innocence is offered to us as a gift, and it sets us free from guilt, shame and the fear of punishment.
We’re re-connected to God the Father
We were always meant to enjoy the love of God our Father and to share in His forever-happiness. Sadly, at one time or other we all sinned and rejected God in our lives and became ‘spiritual orphans’. But God didn’t leave us on the outside; in sending His Son Jesus, God has made a way for all his lost sons and daughters to come home and live close to His heart once more. In the Bible Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The book of Romans says: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
We have the promise of heaven
Most people believe in an afterlife. Somehow it makes sense that death shouldn’t be the end. If it is, then everything really is meaningless. From the beginning God’s intention was for us to live forever, and for our relationships with each other to last forever – which is why funerals are so painful. Death is a great enemy. The Christian story boldly says that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and in doing this, He forever triumphed over death. Those who love Jesus are promised that one day we too will be resurrected just as He was, and enjoy eternity in heaven – which is more wonderful than we could ever imagine. Jesus and the apostle Paul describe it as “paradise”.
God’s Spirit dwells within us and fills us with supernatural power
Thankfully we don’t have to wait until heaven to experience God for ourselves. When we believe in Jesus and choose His way, the Bible says we are “born again”; this is speaking of a spiritual birth whereby our spirit is united with God’s Spirit when He comes to live inside us. Jesus did all His miracles – including healing sick people, multiplying food, driving out evil spirits, walking on the water and raising dead people to life again – by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus could say to His followers that we can do all that He did! The Holy Spirit also changes our heart and attitudes so that we become more like God and full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
God will one day restore all things
We all love a movie with a happy ending, because deep down we all want our story, and the story of our world, to end well too. Thankfully, God is in the restoration business. One day Jesus will return to judge the world with justice, making wrong things right. Revelation 21 says: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth"... ...And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” This good news is for the entire universe!