Originally scheduled for May 31
It has been 40 years; only the old folks really
remember it. It’s known as the “Miracle on Ice.” Sports Illustrated
called it the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.
Millions of older sports fans remember Al Michaels, of ABC, and his
pronouncement at the end of the game: “Do you believe in miracles?
YES!” The American Olympic hockey team, composed entirely of amateur
players, had defeated the heavily favored Soviet juggernaut full of
Triumph. May we ask how one measures triumph in
the field of athletics?
The greater your opponent, the
greater your triumph.
The greater the difficulty of your
tasks, the greater your triumph.
The longer the struggle to achieve
victory, the greater your triumph.
In this lens of athletic triumph we may also
measure the greatness of the triumph of the Cross.
How great was the opponent? The Cross
was the triumph of mercy over the justice of the Lord God Almighty.
How difficult was it to achieve? The
Cross took the life of Jesus, the only sinless man as an atonement
sacrifice for us.
How long did it take? It started with
God’s first contact with Adam and continues through the Cross till
the day when Christ returns — essentially the entire history of
Communion is a memorial to this achievement. It
is not a trophy; trophies get put on shelves and gather dust. It is
a memorial of what it took, for we partake of the body and blood of
Christ in memory of the price paid. The symbol of triumph of God is
a symbol of sacrifice.
It is also a reminder to us that we should “go
and do likewise.” We are to be the merciful on earth. As the apostle
James told us,
For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy
triumphs over judgment.
(James 2:13 NASB)
Therefore, before you partake this morning,
examine yourself. See if you are following the example of Christ in
giving mercy. If you are, then know that mercy triumphs over
judgment and God will be merciful to you on the day of Christ’s
return. The merciful need no other lesson.