(This article was published in the 1st issue of the 2014 Proclaimer)
Like many 11-year-old boys, my son is an avid sports fan. He can talk about popular athletes with the same ease as he does his own basketball teammates. The modern-day sports fan has plenty to enjoy. In February, we have the Super Bowl. The month to follow, we have college basketball’s March Madness. Every day, we have multiple all-day sports channels proclaiming the greatest plays of the week, the latest stats, and promoting the current superstar. When a city’s or a college’s sports team wins the big game, fans fill the streets proclaiming the victory.
Of course, followers of Jesus Christ have a victory to proclaim and a Champion to celebrate that is of eternal significance. Most of us would be hard-pressed to recall from memory who won the World Series in 1972. Sports champions come and go. Yet the resurrection of Jesus Christ is forever and fundamentally life changing.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (NKJV).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that Christ is preeminent. No one and nothing can challenge Him as the ultimate Champion who has defeated sin and death. The resurrection of Christ means that Christianity has power. Read the New Testament Book of Acts, and you will see this power displayed. The resurrection of Christ means that Christians have a purpose. We are called to make disciples and plant churches because Jesus is risen.
Dr. Albert Mohler recalled that the French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte once told Thomas Carlyle that he planned to start a new religion to replace Christianity. “Very good,” replied Carlyle. “All you have to do is be crucified, rise the third day, and get the world to believe you are still alive. Then your new religion will have a chance.” No one and nothing compares to our risen and living Lord Jesus Christ. It’s time for His churches to fill the streets proclaiming the victory! By the way, the Oakland A’s won the World Series in 1972, but it doesn’t really matter.