Jan 31, 2004

Even Better

The world has no shortage of champions. Some have established legacies that none are expected to surpass or even follow. Their achievements seem to reach matchless heights, leaving all in a wake of awe and wonder. They simply dominate their respective fields, and become the new authorities or standards by which all are measured. They are placed in leagues of their own, and comparisons are no longer made.

Surrounding these victors are their followers who love to bask in the shadow of another’s glory. It seems that their life-mission is to proclaim the greatness of their heroes to whomever with whatever means possible. Markets are filled with hats, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and a host of other forms of advertising paraphernalia that provide links of identity between the hero and his subjects. Inevitably such a buzz is created that it grabs the attention of those who otherwise have had no prior interest. Curiosity gives rise to the question, “Is he as good as they say?” This question is asked in our day of a certain golf prodigy who shall remain nameless. We have never seen such talent. If you saw him, you still wouldn’t believe it. But grass withers and flowers fade, and so goes the glory of our earthly heroes.

As Christians we can rejoice in our own Champion. He broke onto the scene with an unprecedented entry. As a twelve-year old he marveled seasoned professors with His knowledge of the Law of God. By age thirty, His mastery over the Scriptures threatened the reputations of Israel’s elites. His sinless nature and unwavering commitment to fulfill the will of the Father placed Him in a category of His own.

All that He was they failed to recognize. Even worse, all of us who profess Jesus are equally guilty of much of the same thing. Do we stand in awe and wonder of His person, and do we bask in the light of His glory? Do we search out all His achievements that Scripture has recorded for us like eager schoolboys who memorize the backs of their baseball trading cards? These things should be our life’s pursuit.

Unlike the world’s pop-idol worship liturgy, our identity is not linked to our Hero by clever marketing products. It is by faith. Such faith lays hold of our Champion who is the Great High Priest who passed through the Heavens (Heb. 4:14), the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20), the Author and Finisher of Our Faith (Heb. 12: 2), and, indeed, God Himself.