In 1985, the Contemporary Christian artist known as Carman released a song titled, The Champion. In this ballad, Carman paints the stage as boxers enter a ring and the epic battle between Jesus and Satan unfolds.
As the track develops, a picture of the crucifixion and the resurrection began to become visible. Lyrics crescendo as Jesus is knocked down and the count out begins not as a normal one, two, three, rather a countdown of 10, nine, eight… With each number rattled off, drawing us closer to one, you can almost hear the mission control tower at NASA announce, “we are a go for lift off.”
Hope and expectation in the onlookers began to be fueled by an explosion of faith. With the climax of the song bringing the announcement that Jesus has won, belief in the impossible has stirred up a childlike faith. With raised voice the proclamation is bellowed, “He has won, Jesus is the champion!” After the knockdown, the crucifixion of our savior, He had overcome hell and the grave.
As many churches across our great nation begin to prepare for Sunday’s Easter arrival for this year, we are called to remember that Jesus has won. As church families across our local counties begin the preparation of candy filled, painted and prize eggs, we are challenged to recall the sacrifice Jesus made on that day.
As grills and ovens are heated up in preparation of loved ones gathering together, we are careful to consider that Jesus is our champion. As we prepare our local assemblies for the influx of people that have not darkened a church door since Christmas, we take notice that even the most casual of church goers are present on this sacred occasion; this memorial of the victory Jesus gained for mankind.
Immediately following the death of Jesus was a moment in time that was impossible for His disciples. John had already paid the ultimate price for his calling and then Jesus was tried and murdered. Jesus was the one who was supposed to restore the kingdom. He was the hope of Israel. He was gone and for three gloomy days His followers were left with a dead man’s promise.
Feelings of despair, disappointment and desperation had to be widespread through those that were close to Jesus. A sense of helplessness had to be prevalent as the one they had trusted in had withered from the scene. If the history ended at this point, how bleak would it have been? The annuals of history would be forever changed if we only had the crucifixion.
The resurrection was miraculous, but that miracle was not the only life that was resurrected that day. The hopes of Jesus’ believers revived that day. The hope the world has in this very moment was revived on that day. With Jesus’ selfless act, He showed not just a nation, but the world that there was restoration available.
What once was deemed worthy of death, was now given the miraculous breath of life. What once was despised was now loved. Jesus took on Himself the sins of a world and was resurrected so that we now have that advocate. When we make a mess of our lives, because of Calvary, and the resurrection we can turn to Jesus and ask Him to speak life into our dead situations. Jesus loves you. He died for you and now He lives for you.
Shawn and Marti Foster are the pastor and wife at Crossroad United Pentecostal Church at Sheridan.
Editor’s note: Pastors or associate pastors interested in writing for this section may submit articles to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.