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The Big Picture Gospel

Last night the question came up of how you might briefly explain the Christian ‘gospel’ message either in words or a picture? What do Christians mean by ‘good news? I fell back on a diagram that I’ve seen in various tracts and sermons but which perhaps hasn’t been used as much recently as it might:

Gospel Picture
The gospel

The very short version of the explanation is that sin, entering the world at the fall, has created a divide between God and man that man cannot bridge. However, God sent Jesus who has created a way back to the possibility of a restored relationship through the cross. Of course that is an incomplete explanation. For example, sin is a word that today rarely carries the weight it should when it represents this aspect of the Christian world view. God is viewed in many different ways and, in recent years, even ‘man’ has become a minefield of a word.

My original sketch had the chasm of sin between God and Man, bridged by the cross of Jesus. That is the traditional version, which can be found in many places. My novel addition (although I’m sure it has also been done before) was to add the explanatory arrows: God reaches us in love and we return to him by grace. After the fact, I couldn’t resist adding a little more detail – God’s side now has a healthy tree and diamonds in the soil whereas man’s side is dry and cracked, draining down into sin and with the addition of a tiny skull and bone in that desert soil.

That gives me my own version to draw on next time the question arises.

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