The Final Score Never Tells the Whole Story of the Game
Ed, my neighbor next door, found his heaven recently. He was watching television absorbed in curling. My neighbor was glad to see his favorite teams proved themselves as winners in the heat of competition. One of his curling teams repeatedly lost, which had Ed deciding if he would give them another chance, or pick another team. Ed summed it up this way, “You have to keep proving yourself to your fans. A person wants to watch winners, not losers!”
Do our favorite teams owe us a win? Do losers need equal recognition for there can be no winners without losers? Hunter Thomson has commented that losing is bad for one’s imagine. For some like Vince Lombardi, there are no good losers. He stated, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” For many spectators winning is everything. No one wins all the time, yet, Ed still wants to see his favorite team win. Are there valid reasons for losing?
For many the fact that Jesus died in crucifixion meant that he was the worst kind of loser. He healed, saved and raised others from the dead, but he did not come down off the cross to save himself! Jesus had told his enemies when they wanted a sign to prove his authority on earth; “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” He did not come down off the cross because he was sacrificing himself there for sinners. On the third day, he arose from the dead. He proved that he was the Son of God. He has assured those who trust him as Savior and God will win heaven.
Jesus came to fulfill or keep the law for us because we cannot obey the Ten Commandments perfectly. Many watching curling or hockey will admit that they could not change places with the players they are watching, and do better than they are doing. Many take God’s word seriously and try to keep God’s commandments. Their motivation is love to God and their neighbor. They know that their hope in Jesus’ obedience, not their ability alone.
Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments as two principles of love. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Our love must be multiplied by the love of God.
We need the love of Jesus to have no other gods before us. In the love of Jesus, we cling to God and willingly devote our lives to Him. We do not misuse his name or ignore the Sabbath Day but keep it holy. We worship God publicly to hear his sacred word and receiving his sacraments.
Love of Jesus leads to honoring parents, not murdering others, not committing adultery, not stealing, not giving false testimony against your neighbor, and not coveting anything that belongs to your neighbor. Love is our actions as a reflection of God’s love towards us as sinners in Jesus Christ his Son. Jesus’ love for sinners saved us. We act in love trying to honor God’s commands and doing no wrong to our neighbor. We absorb ourselves this Christian lifestyle until heaven.