What do you usually prefer to hear first, the good news or the bad news?
Many of us aren't content to enjoy the good news until we've heard the bad news first. We're uneasy to celebrate until we've faced the music and dealt with the tough stuff. The good news of Jesus front loads the bad news and then decisively deals with it.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT
The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ that God has sent a Savior to rescue us at his own cost. It's the very best news we will ever hear or experience. This good news is the answer to our greatest needs and wants. It's God's "yes" to the questions "Can I know you?" and "Can I be forgiven?". And God answers our longings in the good news of the person and work of Jesus Christ, his Son.
The gospel tells us that we are more trouble and we're in more trouble than we're willing to admit. But the gospel also tells us that God went to the trouble of rescuing us. He spared no expense when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on a cross. God did not compromise but he did sacrifice. Jesus' sacrificial death paid the price our sin demanded.
Tim Keller sums the good news of Jesus up well.
The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.
John Newton, writer of the hymn Amazing Grace, put it this way "I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior." Newton didn't mean he was a good rebel and Jesus was a good rescuer. He meant that he was a massive sinner and Jesus was an even more enormous Savior. That's good news for each person who repents of their sin and puts their faith in Christ alone.