Sunday, August 27, 2006

From the Clutches of Defeat

basketball-until_duskJust like a basketball game, life is a series of ups and downs. Sometimes when we feel that we were at rock bottom we look for somebody to help us get out of this rut we find ourselves into. The helping hand could come in the form of assistance from a person, a new job or even an event. It’s when we can’t get out of a tough situation that we look for somebody, anybody to throw us a lifeline.

In basketball we have seen players occasionally defy the agony of losing. What makes the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Reggie Miller standout in our minds whenever we talk about the greats of NBA basketball? Curiously, during NBA highlight programs we are rarely shown the number of trophies these players have won and even the number of championships they got are just mentioned as an afterthought. The more striking and dramatic parts of such programs come when we see these players do unbelievable things to win a ballgame. Games in which their teams had already one foot or even 90% of their bodies in the grave only to walk off the court jubilant and leave a crowd in disbelief of what they saw.

Do you remember when Bird stole the game against the Pistons? Of course you do. How about when Magic hit what he called as a “junior hook” to seal Game 4 of the NBA Finals? Just like you Bird didn’t expect Magic to take that shot. He knew that Kareem could beat them with one skyhook but not Magic. In Game 5 of the NBA Finals a visibly sick Michael Jordan scored 38 points and made the winning shot to lead the Bulls over the Jazz 90-88. In one of the most mind-boggling finishes in NBA history, Reggie Miller scored 8 straight points in 8.9 seconds to beat the Knicks by two 107-105 in the NBA playoffs. Tracy McGrady will top that off a few years later when he scored 13 points in the last 35 seconds to give Houston a buzzer beating win against San Antonio. These guys literally grabbed victory from the clutches of defeat.

Two thousand years ago a man saved his fellowmen not only from the grasp of defeat but death as well. He changed how the game of life shall be played.

I am talking about Jesus Christ.

Two thousand years ago man’s idea of saving his soul was to follow the law, do the traditions. It doesn’t matter what he does for others, it doesn’t matter what’s in his heart. As long as he follows the law like sacrificing animals for payment of his sins then he is ok. If you compare this to a basketball game, man was like going through the motions of the game, putting up jump shots, fancy dribbles because the game was almost over since either they are winning by a blowout or about to lose in the same fashion. However, by this time man was going through the motions not only in the final seconds but their whole lives. They felt that that their usual animal sacrifices would be enough to pay for their sins. Eternal defeat was certain until Jesus came to the picture.

You see God is a good and just God. In order for him to be just, God must punish the sinners like the faithless, degenerates, murderers, sex peddlers, sorcerers, idolaters and ALL LIARS. Liars? That means everybody right?

Like the great coach that He is God had a plan. He loves us so much that he won’t just let us go to hell. God sent in Jesus. The Son of God became man. Instead of punishing man Jesus absorbed the punishment. Instead of animals for sacrifice, it was Jesus who died for our sins. Jesus was there hanging and dying on the cross for us. Then the winning moment came in. Three days later Jesus was gone from His tomb and came back to life, while man’s sins are washed away. What a victory!

It was the greatest win in human history! Do you want to be a part of this ultimate victory? Do you want to receive that eternal life? It is simple as asking for forgiveness and accepting Jesus Christ into your heart. Read the links below…

Am I good enough to go to Heaven? The Ten Commandments and you

Is Jesus the Answer to Your Questions?

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