The Pastor’s Quill
When We Have A Chance To RE-Write The Ending
By Pastor Tim Hodge
Apr 09, 2017
I have a confession. I am a fan of the University of North Carolina Tarheels. I have a high level of allegiance to the S.C. Gamecocks, but many of you know if it comes down to choosing between the two of them I’m going with the Carolina BLUE Boys.
With my public confession renewed, some of you may be aware that the Tarheels won the NCAA National Championship in basketball this past Monday night. In a hard-fought game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs the Tarheels barely outlasted their opponents to squeak out the victory. However, if you’re not a follower of college basketball you may not know that the Heels also played in the same National Championship game LAST YEAR against Villanova.
As the clock wound down North Carolina had tied the game. Villanova inbounded the ball with precious seconds left on the clock, raced down court, dished the ball back to one of their players named Kris Jenkins, who was trailing down court in a masterfully designed play, and he heaved a shot. As the ball left his fingers, milliseconds passed, the buzzer sounded, and the red square around the backboard lit up; time had expired. Yet, the ball was in the air taking an arc that seemed like forever to go about twenty feet. The hearts of American college hoops fans skipped beats all across the nation. Then it happened: SWISH. Nothing but net! The basket was good. Villanova had won on a last second shot: 74 – 77. They screamed and cried tears of joy. The Tarheels cried tears of sorrowful defeat.
Defeat can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth. Personally, I hate losing (at anything). Yes, I know ‘HATE’ is a strong word, but I literally loathe losing. So did the returning players for the Tarheels. Instead of allowing that bitter moment of their past to poison their soul they used it as a motivator. They wanted REDEMPTION. They wanted a chance to RE-WRITE the ending.
When the Tarheels started practice for the 2016-2017 they had one goal in mind: GET BACK TO THAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND WIN! When they had their first practice one of the upper classmen, Justin Jackson, started a ‘players only group text’ where they would daily remind and encourage one another of their goal. Jackson named that group text “REDEMPTION.”
North Carolina fans had signs made that would be waved in the stands all during the 2017 season. These signs read: “The Road To REDEMPTION 2017.” Every day, every practice, every win, and every defeat fueled the UNC Tar Heel’s passion for REDEMPTION.
REDEMPTION is not confined to the venue of sports. REDEMPTION is a biblical fact that carries eternal value. The Gospel is the REDEMPTION story where every ending can be RE-WRITTEN in climactic beauty. How will YOUR story end?
The bottom line is this: Jesus came to RE-WRITE the ending of human history. He came to give us the opportunity to pledge our allegiance to His Kingship and His Kingdom; thereby, giving us ample opportunities, by His grace, to RE-WRITE our own story’s ending.
As we celebrate PALM SUNDAY, also known as THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY,
I want to boldly remind you of this:
JESUS CAME TO OFFER US REDEMPTION…
NOT JUST FOR ETERNITY AFTER DEATH,
BUT IN THE HERE-AND-NOW!