Pastor Sam Crosby
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
April 11, 2017
“He came as a baby. He died on the cross. He was buried in the tomb. And after one, two, three days, He arose! And that’s the gospel.” Complete with hand motions, my grandson recited his understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ to his mother. Carter Barker, at age three, learned the gospel in AWANA at his church in Houston. It was also recited in the home. The greatest story ever told was passed from one generation to the next.
The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus happens every Sunday; hopefully, every day. But Easter is that particular season of the year and time of the year when Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus was real. He was dead. He was laid in the tomb. He stayed in the grave at least part of three days. Then He rose from the dead! Paul declared that at least 500 people witnessed Jesus alive again at the same time (I Corinthians 15:6).
I shared the gospel of Jesus with a young adult man this week. He knew bits and pieces of the Bible. He respected the Bible because His grandmother read it. He had a general understanding of the cross and assumed it was real. When I read him the story of the resurrection, he sat down on the chair next to me in his kitchen and repeatedly said, “That is crazy.” We explored other texts that repeat the resurrection story and he genuinely was overwhelmed. When I asked him if he wanted to trust Christ Jesus to save his soul and come into his life, he asked, “How do I do that?” His question reminded me of the Philippian jailor who said, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 15:30).
The word “gospel” means “good news.” The good news is that God loves you. The good news is that Christ Jesus came into the world to pay for your sins by dying on the cross. The good news is that He rose from the dead. He conquered death through His resurrection and now promises eternal life to those who believe in Him. Jesus declared, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19, NIV). The gospel has the same power today as it did when Christ rose from the dead. Jesus is still rescuing people from the judgment of sin and transferring them into His Kingdom and family.
Don’t ever get over the wonder of the gospel! Don’t ever lose sight of the cross and resurrection! Don’t ever think for one moment that heaven depends on your goodness! Paul confessed, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (I Timothy 1:15, NKJ). We celebrate Easter because God sent a Savior who died and rose again! Whether you are three or ninety-three, may His story ring fresh in your heart one more time!