As we close out our study of the gospel according to Mark we are challenged and encouraged by the humiliation and and exaltation that takes place through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
Well, March Madness has begun. Even those who are not college basketball enthusiasts sometimes get swept up in the craze of filling out a bracket. I actually was in a bracket challenge with someone last year who didn’t know that the numbers next to the team name in the brackets were the team ranking. Whether you are a basketball fan or not it’s fun to watch Cinderella teams like Radford University play against the big dogs like University of North Carolina. There is always that chance for an upset, and every year the tournament has its share of them. For some reason we just love to root for the underdog. We love to pull for the team that realistically has no shot of winning, but somehow ends up pulling a rabbit out of a hat. They may be outsized, outcoached, and under-talented, but still they end up on top at the end.
Isn’t it funny that the throughout history the Christian church has often played the part of the underdog? Actually the first 300 years of the Christian church consists of a smattering of empires, nations, and individuals bent on suppressing and/or eliminating Christians altogether. But the Christian church has always ended up persevering. Though seemingly outsized, outcoached, and under-talented, we are the Church triumphant! Because it doesn’t matter that the church is a rag-tag group of misfits from the playground, because it is ultimately not up to us. It is in the hands of the one who made the rules, who invented the game, and who wins it all in the end! So be encouraged today. Whatever situation you may be facing that appears that you have no realistic shot of rising above by resting in the arms of your Heavenly Father you can trust that victory will come. It may not look like you thought it should, it probably won’t come easy, it will definitely cost you something, but, in the end, it will be so worth it.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 ESV