There is no story as heart-wrenching as the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and truly no ending so wonderful as His resurrection. But if the story is so profound for us, imagine what it was like for those who lived it.
Matthew’s gospel is by the hand of one who was present during Jesus’ ministry, who followed Him through Galilee, and through to the garden of Gethsemane. But Matthew ran away when Jesus was arrested, and didn’t see Him again until His resurrection.
Mark’s gospel is by the hand of one who heard Peter’s preaching, and wrote down the story of Christ’s life from Peter’s perspective. Peter knew Christ from the time of John the Baptist through to the court of the High Priest, before he too ran away in fear, only to be restored by Christ, first by being eyewitness to the empty grave, and then receiving a personal commission from Christ at the seaside.
Luke’s gospel is an “orderly account” of all the stories attested to by the apostles, taking Matthew and Mark’s gospels along with additional information from many interviews and sermons. And then, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Luke wrote from the beginning of John’s ministry, to the ascension of Christ after His resurrection.
John’s gospel, though written last, is still essential reading, as we learn much about the disciples and Jesus’ other work in Judea. With John we follow Jesus through the garden, to the trials before Annas and Caiphas, and finally to the cross, where John is the only disciple to see Jesus hanging from the cross. John’s devotion is rewarded by being one of the first to see the empty tomb and the risen Lord. And at the last, the see the Lord return to tell him about the End.
These four gospels are the basis for most of what we know about Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. These men wrote down the gospel message so that you and I could be the gospel message to others. Make a special invitation this month to someone you know to attend Easter services this year. Be the gospel to them. Show them Jesus’ love for them by sacrificing some of your time to tell them the gospel.