A personal meditation on occasion of reading a quote by R. C. Sproul on Facebook. See the quote at the end of the post.
There are many aspects of the Gospel, but all particular aspects go back to the plenary Gospel which is the Incarnation. The Incarnation is the all-encompassing Gospel, with its particulars like passion, death, descent into hell, resurrection, bodily ascension.
The hypostatic union of God and Man, in the Son of God which becomes ALSO the Son of Man, uniting in Himself divinity and humanity for ever. This is the all-encompassing Gospel. The Gospel is Christ Himself, in His all being, and including all his actions.
The Gospel is not an individual act of Christ separated from his complete being and actions. The Gospel is not an intellectual proposition to subscribe to and „get saved”. God himself is the Gospel, Christ Himself is the gospel, the Incarnation, the real kinship between divine and human that Christ realized.
Through Virgin Mary God became one of us, so that one of us could become one of God’s, through grace. That is why the Gospel was proclaimed by Jesus from the first days of his public ministry, long before the Cross. Emmanuel, God among us, this is the supreme good news.
Of course Cross is important. Of course Resurrection is important. Of course descent into hell and bodily ascension to heaven at the right of the Father are important. But all this aspects cannot be grasped in their unifying splendor except by mystical apprehension of the inexhaustible mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God, the realization that the eternal Word of God became (also) flesh and now humanity is in firsthand kinship with the One Holy Trinity through Christ the Word Incarnate, born within space-time of Holy Spirit and of Blessed Virgin Mary, remaining for eternity not only the eternal Son of God, fully God, but also remaining for eternity the Son of Man, fully man, in One Person, God-Man-Incarnate.
The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.