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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Delivering the good news

Jesus crucified and risen for us!

"Gospel,” from the Old English, means “good news.” For Christians the gospel is not just any good news, like a sports win or the birth of a child. It’s the good news of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, who gave himself as the gift of forgiveness, new life and salvation for sinners.

The readings for Palm Sunday (also called the Sunday of the Passion) point us to the core of this good news. Jesus was obedient through to death (Philippians 2:8) not for his own sake but for ours. He didn’t give in to the temptation to come down from the cross (Mark 15:29-32) because his purpose was to save us, not himself. As the Nicene Creed succinctly reminds us, Jesus became incarnate, suffered and died “for us and for our salvation.” That’s good news!

For Martin Luther, this gospel core—Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, for us—is the lens through which we should read the entire Scriptures. In his preface to the New Testament letter of James, Luther describes the purpose of the Scriptures as showing us Christ with a sense of urgency, so faith in Christ comes alive in us.


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April issue

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Faith traditions

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