It’s a big week for the Rugby League with the Grand Final to be played this Sunday. By way of admission my pleasure in Penrith beating the Storm is that if Souths were to lose I would prefer it be to Penrith than to the Storm. The sad part of any grand final is that there has to be a loser. Even sadder is the truth that life can have losers.
As the Bible opens the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, have defected to another team, sold out to their original owners and devastated potential future fans.
Before God confronts this defection the consequences immediately kick in – relationship broken, shame, cover up, hiding and blame. But when God does confront the man and the woman judgement follows just as God warned it would. The man and the woman who were put in the garden are removed. Access to the tree of life they are excluded from. Into a world marked by pain and resistance they enter where the conditions of life are appropriate to their rebellion against God.
Genesis 3 is a terrible commentary of defeat. As Adam and Eve leave the stadium (oops… I mean the Garden) there is no trophy, no lap of honour, just the bowed head of disgrace and the empty prospect of death that God warned about.
What hope is there for those who stand to lose everything before the victory of God? Only the hope of the Victor doing for them what they don’t deserve.
The world is full of bad losers but sometimes you can meet poor winners. When it comes to God, he is a great winner who cares for the loser. He drives Adam and Eve from the garden in an act of surprising grace and mercy. Even death proves to be a punishing gift as God prevents humanity from becoming immortal immorals. He clothes them and offers them protection. In the promise of a descendant God spoke of His, “God Medal Winner”, the greatest Immortal, who would crush Satan, answer sin’s judgement, defeat death and invite us to play on His side, standing a reconciled people on the podium of victory with Himself. That descendant was Jesus Christ.
Whatever happens between the Panthers and the Rabbits on the weekend is a matter of little consequence. Whatever happens between us and Jesus Christ is of eternal consequences and as fans of Jesus, our hope is in being trophies of His victory.
Go the Rabbits! Sorry I could not resist…
Go Jesus Christ! Unapologetically we must never resist.