Good Friday to You,
Chris (not his real name) was a spectacular athlete. He was one year ahead of me in school and about 7 years ahead of me in athletic ability. He was able to do things that made the rest of us look like boys. I remember the thrill of being able to jump and touch the bottom of the backboard (back when they extended down well-below the rim). But Chris was over there dunking! As a freshman, he played Varsity… in every sport.
I can still remember standing near our football field in the Fall of 1987. It was Chris’ Sophomore year. We were playing our cross-county rival, the Casey-Westfield Warriors. Though they were a larger school (nearly double our size), we could hold our own. That night our football team had played valiantly, but we were still behind 8 to 6. We had one last chance to score, but the Warriors stopped us short…WAY short. It was 4th down, and we were on the Warrior’s 42-yard line.
The Warrior crowd began to cheer as our coach sent the field goal unit out. If you know small-town football, you know this means a couple of players switch out, and others simply change positions. Chris, a wide receiver, now became the kicker. The play call from our Coach was for Chris to attempt a 52-yard field goal. 52 yards is a significant accomplishment for a guy in the NFL who “just” kicks, but for a Sophomore in High School after 4 exhausting quarters of play… that’s a gutsy call.
The Warrior’s crowd continued to cheer at the imminent demise of the Martinsville Bluestreaks… that is until the football cleared the uprights! It was an amazing victory for the Bluestreaks, winning 9-8. And, It was a spectacular accomplishment for a young man named Chris!
The situation for Chris became really complicated. Because of his off-the-field choices, Chris was banned from Martinsville Athletics the Spring of his Junior year. Ironically, he then played his senior year for the Warriors. He played well for them, and to no one’s surprise, was invited by Indiana University to tryout for their team. Yet, because of more “complications,” he didn’t make it.
I still wonder what Chris could have become. I really believe he had the physical potential to kick with the NFL’s best- but all that was lost.
The Bible has a really strong message for us: If the resurrection of Jesus is not true, WE are lost! Even more… if Jesus is still dead, we are to be pitied. To surrender our lives to Jesus… to submit ourselves to the lordship of a dead man would make us the most pitiful people on the planet!
Many individuals have failed to fully realize their athletic potential. But far worse than a missed Big Ten Scholarship would be for us to place our hope in a non-resurrected Jesus! The implications of the resurrection are HUGE! For that reason, we just might be asking THE most important question, yet! This weekend we’re asking: “Is there life after death?”
You can get a head start by reading 1 Corinthians 15. Our salvation depends upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! Can we be sure? If it is not true, we should tell people to NOT follow Jesus. If it is true, that changes everything! Do you realize the importance of the resurrection?
Hope you join us this weekend,