The Ultimate Victory
Part of the worldwide response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the shelving of sports around the globe. We’ve never seen anything like it, a world with no professional sports, no college sports, no youth sports; you might even receive a citation if you try to organize a pick-up game of basketball at a local park. For many of us it’s simply incredible to think of a world with no sports and we are greatly looking forward to the day that they resume. Until then, we must satisfy our sports appetites with sports documentaries and classic game reruns.
So, in our world without sports let’s turn our attention for a moment to a sports analogy. In sports we pursue not just victory, but the ultimate victory. In college basketball it’s winning the NCAA tournament. Achieving that puts you at the very top of the college basketball world. In baseball, the ultimate victory is winning the World Series. But what about the ultimate victory in life? Thanks be to God it’s already been won; it was won for us by Jesus Christ on the cross some 2,000 years ago.
Bill reminded us of this in his Easter Sunday message which he preached from 1 Corinthians 15. The Apostle Paul sums it up for us in verses 3-4: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
What is the ultimate victory in life? It’s overcoming sin and death. When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God sin entered the world, and each of us as their descendants inherited their sin nature. We prove that we have a sin nature by the fact that we too fail to live up to God’s standards of justice, love, forgiveness, and righteousness. We all sin, and as sinners, death is our destiny. But, praise God, we have victory—the ultimate victory—in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” writes Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,” he asserts in verse 20 and that is our victory.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” Paul writes in verse 26. And consider how this great chapter in the Bible ends: “”Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (verses 56-58).
As we wait for sports to return to our lives, remember that spiritually—and much more importantly—we already have the ultimate victory in Christ Jesus our Lord. Live in the power of that finished work today!
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.