All scripture is from the ESV translation unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Breaking News: Jesus of Nazareth upsets “unbeatable” Satan

Disclaimer: Though this post is targeted at Aggies it has truth that applies to everyone. Put yourself in the shoes of an Aggie to get the full effect!

In case you haven’t heard, No. 15 Texas A&M upset No. 1 Alabama in college football yesterday. I had fo ur Facebook statuses (stati?), two tweets, and two retweets about the game. The victory brought me much joy and my passion was evident not just through social networking but also with everyone I talked to.

While this is not bad in and of itself, I had zero tweets/stati that pertained to Jesus and he was almost a nonfactor in my conversations with people on Saturday. When I think about the gospel of Jesus Christ I wonder how I, or any Christian for that matter, could have anywhere close to the amount of passion for this victory than for Christ’s victory over Satan through his resurrection. The effect of the Aggie’s win is that it jumped them way up in the college football rankings and it will likely help them secure some recruits, but the effect of the victory of Christ is that someone who lives in sin and deserves to spend eternity in Hell can have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. I am probably never going to speak a word to anyone on the Aggie Football team, but because of the victory of Christ I will get to live forever in his presence.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, they “came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him” (Matthew 28:9). I know if I had been there that’s exactly what I would have done too, but what troubles me is that though Christ’s resurrection should carry just as much weight today as it did roughly 1,980 years ago, it often does not in my heart (and I fear the hearts of many others as well). The Lord is risen and that is a cause to rejoice. All day. Every day. Until we die.
Why was A&M’s defeat of Alabama such a big deal? Because Alabama was “the unbeatable team” and it wasn’t like they lost to another undefeated team or even a team ranked in the top 10. They lost to a 2-loss, No. 15 ranked team. It was definitely possible but not expected by anyone… except the Aggies themselves. After the game Sean Porter (one of the most important defensive players on the A&M football team) tweeted, “Everyone’s surprised but us.” They Aggies knew what they were capable of though they had many doubters.

The beauty of this is that it wasn’t any different with Jesus. Since the beginning of time, everyone had failed to overcome temptation and sin. Even Adam, who had perfect fellowship with God, hardly put up a fight against Satan. If the history of man was any indication of the future of man, Jesus was going to fall too. Though many doubted, Jesus knew. Matthew 16:21-23 reads,

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Jesus told Peter that he was going to be the rock on which he would build the church literally three verses earlier, but when Jesus tells him what is going to happen to him Peter said he was crazy! Yet it happened. Jesus did the seemingly impossible.
Please do not think for a second that I am condemning getting excited about sports. I am just encouraging you to keep it in perspective. You may see the defeat of a great football team as incredible but you’re insane if you think a guy RESURRECTING HIMSELF after being crucified on a cross is not a bigger deal than that.

Evaluate your life. If someone were to watch you for a day, would they see that you were more passionate about God or the things of the world (sports, music, video games, school, etc.)? If the answer is any of the latter, I encourage you to do what I did and revisit the gospel and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the beauty of what Jesus did. You probably felt the greatest joy about the Aggies’ win when it was fresh on your mind but over time that will fade. If you were to go on YouTube and watch the game recap a month later it would surely pump you up again. It’s the same way with the gospel. If you want to feel that passion for Jesus you need to keep it fresh on your mind.

The win over Alabama was season changing for the Aggies, but Jesus’ victory over Satan is life changing for everyone who chooses to follow him.

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Pray with me.

You have blessed us with the ability to take joy in the little things in life, but they are only little things. What you have done is huge. It changes everything. Tear down the walls that are getting in the way of my understanding of the gospel simply because it’s not new news. The news of the gospel is 1,980 years old but it is still the biggest news that the world has ever heard. Let that not lose its power in my life. Stir in my heart a passion for you that is rivaled by absolutely nothing. I want that. I want you. Thank you for giving me, a wholly broken person, the chance to live forever in perfect communion with you, a holy and unbroken God. You are worthy of praise.