George Bowers Sr. God turned a triple play
Spring training is over and the 2018 Major League Baseball season is underway! The boys of summer have begun their pitching, catching, hitting, and running and the first games are already in the books. This year’s edition of America’s favorite pastime has officially begun!
The fascination with baseball has held the attention of fans for many years as coaches and athletes develop strategy, plan offense, and practice defense. Although pitchers are widely celebrated and given most of the attention (and most of the money) the outcome of the game is also in the gloves of the other eight players on the field. The ability of those athletes to field hits, throw accurately, catch skillfully, and make good snap judgments enormously impacts the outcome of every game as does all of their performances at bat.
Occasionally, fans are treated to a double play when quick action and good decisions result in two outs on one continuous play. Much rarer, however, are three outs at one time and triple plays are almost unheard of. Only seven were achieved during the entire 2017 season of over 2,400 games.
That’s exactly what God did, however, from Good Friday through Easter Sunday. With the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the punishment required by humans for their sin was thrown out and disposed of. Jesus paid the ultimate price by taking all of our sins upon Himself and dying for them on the cross. He suffered the humiliation and agony that each of us deserve, took our place, and paid our penalty for the first out.
The second occurred on Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead. From the earliest days in the Garden of Eden, death held the lead. It scored run after run and collected victory after victory. When Jesus died on Good Friday, it looked like the game was all but over with death scoring the ultimate defeat to life. Some had already left the stands convinced that this foe would never be defeated. But unlike every other person who ever lived, Jesus came back from the grave under His own power and conquered man’s inescapable enemy, death, for the second powerful out of the weekend.
Without any help from teammates, Jesus rose from the dead defying the infinite and seemingly permanent odds to win the victory of all victories and turn the most incredible double play ever! Not only did He do so in convincing fashion, but he also promised to raise all others who put their trust in him! Ephesians 4:8 tells us that when he ascended on high, he led captives in his train. And one future day, he’s going to raise the physical bodies of all those who trust in him to be transformed in an instant and reunited with our perfected souls for all eternity!
But Jesus wasn’t through. Because he conquered both sin and death, he also threw fear out of life’s ballpark. The perennial opponent that has crippled so many players down through the ages and relegated many to the sidelines to watch in hopelessness was itself opposed and deposed! After Jesus appeared on Easter evening to His disciples, they suddenly turned from their cowardice into bold ambassadors and fearless evangelists for the king of kings. Fear was just as entrenched as death and sin but in one short weekend, God threw all three of them out and turned the most incredible triple play of all time!
One of the most incredible truths of this analogy is that God’s not just a coach sitting in the dugout, He’s also active on life’s field. In fact, he took the initiative in each instance without our help and even overcame our errors that made his play more difficult. Even more amazing is that although he is literally in a league all to himself, he desires our company, friendship and love for these are what motivated his winning actions.
His victories are freely available to all who will receive them. I pray that each reader will accept and appreciate God’s triple play over this holy weekend and that each will return to him the worship and love he desires and deserves in the form of eternal applause. Glorifying him, George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored 10 books including his latest, “Valley Verses, Volume IV,” which is available at Four Star Printing and Shenandoah Stuff. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.