When Jesus died on the cross, he said, “it is finished.” This means that Jesus defeated Satan, who ruled the earthly kingdom, which was full of sins and darkness. The work of Jesus made it possible for people to survive in this world through the death and the resurrection of Jesus. This is the gospel, the good news. After Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to Mary Magdalene. He also showed himself to his disciples and continued the ministry of God on this earth. The gospel, which is the death and resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago, the good news has continued until today. Now, I will talk to you about what the gospel has brought us.
1.The Gospel has brought us Peace (Shalom).
In John 20:19, Jesus said, “Peace be with you!” This is a greeting in Hebrew. The Jews regarded peace as the most important greeting at the time of Jesus. Still today, that is still so. Peace originally comes from the Hebrew word, Shalom, שָׁלוֹם (εἰρήνη in Greek), which means wholeness or completeness or perfection. Further, it refers to the absence of war politically and the absence of quarrel socially. Also, it ranges to physically good and healthy condition.
2. The Gospel brought us the Holy Spirit
Jesus said in John 20:22, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is another person of God in the trinity of God. Before he left the earthly kingdom, Jesus made a promise that he would send the Holy Spirit. He said in John 14:26, “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
Holy Spirit is also called Counsellor. This comes from the Greek word, parakletos(Παράκλητος), which means helper, counsellor, advocate, and intercessor. First, the Holy Spirit is called intercessor. He intercedes between God and his people like a bridge. The Holy Spirit helps us to come to God while we are on the earth. Also, the Holy Spirit is called advocate or attorney. He protects and defends us to fight against Satan and demons. When we are hardened or troubled, we ask God. Then he will send the Holy Spirit, who helps and protects us.
After the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit gave his believers two lessons. First, the Holy Spirit helped them to remember that our sins are forgiven. Once we believe in Jesus, our sins are forgiven. As Jesus forgave our sins, so believers are to forgive this sins of others. The word, forgive originally comes from the Greek word, ἀφῆτε(arete), which means send away or let go. Once we sin against God or do not forgive the sins of others, sin comes into our body and makes trouble for us. However, if we believe in God and forgive others their sins, then the stress of sins will be sent away from us also.
The second lesson, the Holy Spirit gives us to have true faith in the Gospel, the good news. We are believers of Christ. And the question is what does faith mean? Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” The true faith does not require us to show the evidence. Without the evidence, we are told to believe that something is real.
Jesus showed himself to Thomas, who said in John 20:25, “unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” This means that Thomas would only believe after he touched the body of Jesus and have evidence. How did Jesus respond? Jesus said in verse 27, “put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” This means that you are free to touch me. However, this is not true faith. Jesus continued to say in verse 29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Remember the disciples of Christ. Some saw Jesus, while others did not touch Jesus. Jesus told them that true faith was to believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour without seeing and touching his body. That is true faith. In some ways, our beliefs are surer than the beliefs of disciples of Jesus, who saw him with their eyes and touched his body, because we do believe Jesus as our Lord and Saviour without seeing or touching him personally.
To conclude, the gospel, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has brought us Shalom, the peace of God and the Holy Spirit. And, the Holy Spirit has helped us to come to God and to live and work for God. That is the grace of God. May God be with you and continue to bless you and your family.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook