We have gone through the NBA draft and now it will be time to see how these picks pan out. Their respective teams have held news conferences to introduce them to the masses and made comments concerning what each of these young men will do for their clubs. With some of them, (such as the foreign-born players mentioned in last week’s devotion), all we have to go on is the hype. Others have made names for themselves in the college game, yet that is an entirely different thing than the NBA. Beyond the draft some players have simply switched teams raising hopes (i.e. Shaq as the savior of Cleveland to bring them a longed for title.)
The fact is that the games will have to be played, the box scores reviewed, and a determination made as to whether the players lived up to their hype. Some will go down as heroes (studs), while some are considered to be a bust (duds).
This is on my mind because I am in the midst of an outreach in London that is truly focused around the identity of Jesus Christ. Yet this is not a new thing. In Scripture even the trial of Christ was based upon His identity. Afterwards we see often the message for people to change their minds about this Jesus whom they crucified. They are told He is the Messiah and they should believe on Him to be saved. He was/is the Messiah!
The way to judge this is by looking at the “game.” The “pre-game hype” included around 300 prophecies of the upcoming Messiah and Christ fulfilled them all. (Even the Islamic crowd I am dealing with in London believes Christ “played a perfect game.)
The Jews that had Him crucified were not looking at the “box score” of fulfilled prophecy and a sinless life – they wanted an earthly king as their Messiah. They were looking at things from a political standpoint and not a spiritual one.
The people of today unfortunately will look at Him as a prophet or teacher, but miss that He is the Messiah – the deliverer. He is the only one that can bring us the “championship” of eternal life – via His shed blood on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection from the grave that overcame death an gives us new life!
10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4)
Christ lives up to the hype! I challenge you to present the person of Christ to the world. He is our hope. He is our future. He is the Messiah!