What is the good news of the gospel really all about? It's a phrase that Christians mention often but one that can be a little puzzling at first.
One of the first times we see mention of the gospel of the kingdom is in Isaiah. Here, Isaiah talks about a messenger running toward the destroyed city of Jerusalem proclaiming the good news that their God is still king and that God Himself would one day return to the city to set up His kingdom and bring peace to the land.
In the New Testament we see the same wording of "good news" used yet again. It's a Greek phrase that is just as often translated as "the gospel". Throughout the New Testament this phrase is used to summarize all of Jesus's teachings proclaiming everything that Jesus brought down to us as "good news".
In several instances, Jesus described Himself as the messenger of God's good news, just like the messenger that Isaiah foretold. The Jews, well-versed on these prophecies, had been expecting the messenger to come to pave the way for the kingdom of God. However, the kingdom of God that Jesus described was not the kingdom that the Jews were expecting. Instead of the powerful, militaristic kingdom that the Jews thought their God would give them, the gospel of Jesus Christ described a kingdom of love, meekness, and peace.
Not only did Jesus come proclaiming a kingdom unlike any the Jews had ever heard of, He also came proclaiming Himself as the king of this new kingdom.
Word quickly spreads of this man who was acting as the king of Israel yet failing to deliver the type of kingdom the Jews were expecting. The Jewish leaders were so threatened by this unusual kingdom (and even more unusual king) that they decided to have Jesus killed.
Being crucified may seem like a fatal blow to someone who is trying to set up a kingdom, nevertheless, Jesus allowed them to do it. He saw the sin and corruption of the world, both past, present, and future, and He knew that there was no way the kingdom of God could ever be built on earth without an ultimate sacrifice to atone for all of mankind's sins.
In the gospels, Jesus' crucifixion is depicted as His enthronement as the king of the Jews. He was given a crown of thorns, was given a robe, and He was lifted up onto a cross rather than a throne. People witnessing His crucifixion mocked Him saying, "behold, the king of the Jews!". Little did they know that the things they meant as mockery were true.
In death, Jesus went from the messenger bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the king who would reign over it. He defeated sin and evil, and He established a way by which all of His followers could take part in the kingdom of God.
Today, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of God's kingdom that He brought down, is ours to deliver. Like the messenger that Isaiah told about and the messenger that Christ Himself was, we too are now charged with going out and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
Excerpted from thebibleproject.com.