The Sprint Finish
I applied for my Olympics tickets last week. Hope I get some.
I love the Olympics. Have done for years. I have memories of watching it with my parents, well my Dad really, roaring at the TV cheering on Daley Thompson as he ran to victory in the decathlon. I remember being glued to the TV for 2 weeks in 1992 as Freddie Mercury sang the theme tune for the Barcelona games, getting up in the night during Atlanta 96 simply to watch Linford Christie be disqualified in the 100m final, and the British pride when Redgrave won his fifth consecutive gold in Sydney. But I guess these memories are a bit before your time. What about Usain Bolt in Beijing, oh boy that man can run!
But it was this Easter that I realised how much the end of Jesus’ life on earth can appear like the end of some long distance races. You know the ones where there has been a clear leader from the start, they’ve taken the race on and spread the field and it looks like as they enter the home straight that they are home and dry. But one runner has saved a reserve, enough left in the tank to begin a sprint for the line. As the leader keeps going but begins to fade step by step, the lone runner from the pack breaks forward and pips first place with a chest dip for added effect!
On that first Good Friday I think the devil must have felt like the race leader. It was done and dusted; Jesus hung on a cross with no defence or retaliation, dead and stuffed in a tomb. But then Jesus pulled out all the stops. Coming back to life on the third day and revealing his power over death. Of course we look back now and understand the power and necessity of the cross. Jesus died to save sinners and ‘it was finished’ as he gave up his life. We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, (Eph 1:7) for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:22). But the resurrection was the victory dance, death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Cor 15:54) and we can stand on the podium with Jesus and live with him forever.
Forget the lap of honour with the scary looking mascot; we’re talking about a feast in heaven and access to our everlasting father. Better than an Olympic Gold any day of the week!
Cassie Schifano, 28/04/2011
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