When Jesus was born, an angel appeared to a raggedy group of shepherds to bring them “good news.” The Christian faith is simply a message about something that's happened in real time. And the good news is about what God has done for us.
But to understand it, you have to go back to the beginning. God created man, and He gave them a single command. But when Adam sinned in the garden, Scripture teaches that all humanity—all of us—were punished together with them. Adam was the pilot of the plane; the captain of the ship--when he crashed it brought death to all of us. It's for this reason all of us will die physically; but it's more than that. When Adam sinned, all of us died spiritually.
If we're honest with ourselves, we'll agree that there are times we do things that we ourselves know to be wrong. Ever asked yourself why that is? If we know it's wrong, why do we still do it? Jesus gives us the answer: "men loved the darkness rather than the Light" (John 3:19). Jesus is putting the pieces together for us: the reason we do things we know are wrong is that we "love" the darkness. Thing is, we have hearts that love sin. Our hearts are profoundly messed up because when Adam sinned in the garden, we died spiritually.
It gets worse before it gets better. Thing is, God is the Judge of the earth. He's a good and right and just judge. He doesn't take bribes or wink at injustice. Which is a really good thing, because that means He will never, ever condemn the righteous (Genesis 18:25). But it's also a scary thing, because, friends, that's not what we are. How many times do you have to commit murder to be a murderer? How many times do you have to lie to be a liar? Thing is, we're not righteous, are we? Fact is, we stand before the God of heaven as criminals. And the sentence for our crimes is death. It's not popular to talk about today, but nobody talked more about hell than Jesus. Hell is real, and it's terrible, but it's not unfair. It's what every single one of us deserve for our crimes.
So, what's the good news? The good news is God didn't leave us there. He could have. But He didn't. Instead, He made a promise to Adam and Eve there in the garden, after they had sinned. They were guilty; but the Lord would show them grace. In Genesis 3:15, He promised to send a Messiah into the world to redeem them, to rescue them, to save them.
We learn more and more about who this Messiah was and how He would redeem as we continue to read through the rest of the Scriptures. Genesis 3:15 told us he would be a descendant of Eve. In Genesis 22:18, we learn he would be a descendant of Abraham. We learn in Genesis 50:10 that he would be a descendant of Judah. Moses said he would be a prophet as he himself was (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Later we learn that he would be a descendant of king David (2 Samuel 7:12; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5-6). We're even told he would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
How would He save sinners? Hundreds of years before Jesus' birth, Isaiah wrote: "He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isaiah 53:5-6). In other words, the Messiah would be condemned in our place. He was punished, so that through him, we might receive eternal life as a free gift. Three days later He rose from the dead to prove that His blood was accepted by the Father as payment for our sins.
Jesus is the Messiah, and this is the good news. It's not just for Christians—the angel told the shepherds that this good news is “for all the people" (Luke 2:10). Friends, we're real sinners. We're a lot more messed up than we'd like to admit (if we're honest). And we're helpless to do anything to help ourselves. But what we couldn't do for ourselves—God did for us. In and through Jesus, God has sent into the world a real Savior for real sinners. That's the good news of the Gospel, it's the message of the Christian faith, and it's what we love preaching afresh every week at our evening service here in Chittagong city. Thanks for taking the time to listen.