Over the nearly 40 years that I have spent teaching the Bible, I have been amazed by many things. But, one of the things that I am most amazed by is that there are millions of people that have received the Good News, but really have no idea what the Good News is.
While teaching, I will often ask people the question: "What is the Good News?" The answer I receive most often is: "The gospel." To that, I respond: "The gospel is just a different way to say the Good News. It is not an answer to the question 'What is the Good News?'"
What follows this statement is usually someone quoting from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (TLV), which says:
"For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received—that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
The truth is that the Good News, or gospel, isn't the death, burial and Resurrection of Yeshua. The verses in 1 Corinthians 15 are the beginning of a list of many evidences of the Good News that Paul provided. But, the evidence of something isn't the something; it is the proof that something exists.
So, you may ask what is the Good News, or gospel? The best way to find the answer to a biblical question is to look in the Bible. In this case, we can find the answer by reading the words of Yeshua (Jesus) Himself in Luke 4:16-21:
"And He came to Natzeret, where He had been raised. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and He got up to read. When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 'The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of Adonai's favor.' He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him. Then He began to tell them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.'"
Notice that Yeshua said He was proclaiming the Good News and what He proclaimed was release of the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom for the oppressed and proclaiming the year of Ad-nai's favor. This proclamation by Yeshua was prophesied in Isaiah 61 and was fulfilled that day in that synagogue. Everything that Paul listed beginning with 1 Corinthians 15:3 is the evidence of the fulfillment that Yeshua spoke of in Luke 4.
In other words, Yeshua's death, burial and Resurrection are a major part of the evidence of the fullness of the prophecy and promise given through Isaiah and fulfilled by Yeshua. The Good News isn't that He died, was buried and rose again. The Good News is "He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of Adonai's favor."
And that Good News is ours because the Good News was proclaimed and fulfilled by Yeshua Himself. Our release was proclaimed, our sight was proclaimed, our freedom from oppression was proclaimed and Ad-nai's favor was proclaimed. Yeshua's death, burial and Resurrection weren't the Good News; they are proof of the Good News.
Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity As Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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