Monday, March 02, 2015

Christ, Our Pinch Hitter

As I sit writing this, its just a few days before the opening day of my son's little league season.   This is great time of excitement as the new season begins and the hopes of a winning season and tournament championships are still very much alive for every team.

In a former life I played in a church softball league.  We were not very good, so our championship hopes usually were over by the fifth game of the season (at the latest). We had a lot of fun though. One of the funny things that happened was one time when one of the best hitters on our team smacked the ball really well. I mean he crushed it. In fact, to our duffer-league disbelief  he hit it so hard it cleared the fence.  Duffers don't hit many home runs! And certainly not our team!  So we were all going into hysterics over this out of the park home run.  The funny part  is everyone knew the ball was out of the park except the batter. He ran as fast as he could all the way around the bases with people yelling to him. They were yelling to slow down, but he misinterpreted the noise as a prod to run harder. It wasn't until he crossed home plate that he realized there was no need to run so hard. “Wait...It was over the fence?” he asked with winded speech. While the work was done to enjoy the trip, he ran like it all depended on his "lightening" speed. His, once-in-a-duffer's-life moment, lasted all of half a minute.

Right now, we are in the middle of the season of Lent. It is period of time Christ -followers traditionally slow down to reflect on what Jesus purchased for us on the cross. It's a time, before opening day (Easter) to slow down. Walk slowly.  So maybe today, maybe right now, God is telling you to slow down. Consider and enjoy what He has done for you through the cross and resurrection.

If I could relate it to baseball, here's the miracle victory he has given to us.
In this high stakes game of life we were in the ninth inning of a losing battle with sin and death. We faced an 0-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. All of creation stood on tip toes as out of the dugout came God's appointed pinch hitter (God always bats last). We stepped aside and He pinch hit for us. And on that dark Friday the game would be decided. Satan unleashes his fury.  Creation, as spectators in the stands, held its breath....then let out a roaring cheer when the Champion saw the pitch, timed the pitch, swung and crushed it.  And out of the park it went! Then instead of running the bases himself, he looked at you and me declaring, "This was for you. This is your victory. Enjoy the trip around the bases." Jesus' defeat of death through resurrection was the sealing of victory to all who believe.

If you've put your faith in Christ, you’re salvation has been purchased. You've got a free trip around the bases. Why then do we make life so difficult? Why do we rush around? Why do live and struggle with God's amazing gift of salvation like it all depends on our effort. It doesn't.

Nothing you do could ever make God love you any more than he already does. Don’t wait till you get to heaven to breathe in his joy and delight for you. The hardest work has already been done by Jesus. So breathe, soak in the jog around the bases. Enjoy the victory that is yours through Christ.

Lent 2015

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