Goal! Touchdown! Score! Slam Dunk!
These common expressions get a crowd excited in the midst of watching or attending a sporting event. More than a single play though, a last-second ending in which a team miraculously defeats their opponent to achieve victory serves as a fundamental benchmark of excitment in sport. As a University of Florida alum, I still recall fondly sitting in the student section watching my team block a potential game-winning field goal against South Carolina on the last play of the game to win 17-16. The Gators went on to win the college football national championship that year and that blocked kick and that game proved to be a decisive moment that season. I remember the true, unadulterated joy I felt as myself and 90,000 others simultaneously cried out in adulation for our team.
What is it about dramatic finishes that amazes us? Whether a movie with a plot twist, a great solo that ends with a flourish, or a myriad of other things, we as human beings have a love for the dramatic. The Bible shows us that our creator also had a similar flare for fantastic finishes.
Through Jesus' earthly ministry, he claims himself to be and is revealed to be the Son of God, God in the flesh. Despite this claim, and many miracles and revelations that reveal him to be who he claims to be, his contemporaries vehemently disagree with him and arrest him. He is tried in court and is ordered to be crucified. The claim that he is the "Christ," the Savior of God's elect people, looks to be in serious doubt. The drama peaks in Matthew 27:46 when Jesus cries out My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Anyone reading this story would assume that at that point, the story was over. Jesus died, the victory had been achieved by the enemy, death had claimed another victim, and it was time for everyone to go home and go about their lives. However, the sovereign God of the universe proved that death would not have victory over him. Matthew 28 reveals that the Son of God had overcome the grave. When the two Mary's come to his gravesite, they are confronted by Jesus in verse 9- And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshipped him.
Wow! What a fantastic finish to this story, and as believers, what a fantastic story we have been made a part of. We have seen God come to earth and perfectly obey the law, defeat sin and death, all to atone for our sin and make us righteous. What a wonderful message!
After the Gator game, I called everyone I knew to share with them my excitement about the outcome of the game. Likewise, the disciples, after seeing Jesus alive, committed the rest of their lives to share the message that Jesus was alive and had achieved victory over sin and death! Our calling is the same... Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
MDiv Student (3rd Year)