Tonight I had the unpleasant experience of watching my beloved Montreal Canadiens lose game five of their playoff series against Boston in double overtime. I am reluctant to admit this, but at a couple points in the game the thought entered my head “these guys are not good enough to win”. This is an aweful feeling, usually reserved for Leafs fans. As it turns out, my feeling was right, and I am facing an uncertain future for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The reason I mention all this is because there was another thought running through my head as I drove to a friend’s house to watch the game. Jesus is now and has been eternally, the centre of unending, unbridled, untainted praise. When I watch my team, I never know if they are going to win, and many times I have good reason to expect an unpleasant result. This is never the case with Jesus. He wins. He always wins.
At the end of the game, the Boston fans cheered for a long time, chanting, singing, dancing. This is a momentary joy, which will soon turn to anxious moments of lip biting when the next game begins. Right now the team is worthy of praise, but Monday night they might not be.
The ‘cheering’, praising and singing in heaven, however, is for one who has already won the victory in a game that hasn’t ended yet. In fact, he won it before the game ever started, thus he is ultimately worthy of unending praise and adoration.
I am not trying to offer you some profound new thought, only a fresh and simple look at an old one, becuase I think it has some practical significance in my life and yours. As I type this, and as you read it, Jesus is being glorified by his people and his angels in heaven, sitting on a throne at the right hand of the Father, weilding all authority in heaven and on Earth. Down here, ‘the game’ is still going on, but up there the result is known without possiblity of doubt. In our lives we face times when we may think defeat is inevitable, but this isn’t true for those whose God is the Lord.
In think this is what the Psalmist meant in Psalm 46. He boldly declares that God is a refuge for his people (v.1), yet he also speaks to the seemingly uncertain and painful realities of life. He paints an extreme hypothetical picture of distress in verses 2-3, saying “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” This is a picture of cataclysmic distress, yet he continues:
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells” (v. 4)
The picture he is painting is of severe turmoil and distress on Earth, and total peace and serenity in heaven – a stark contrast.
So, while we all experience times when it feels as if the earth is quaking beneath our feet, and the oceans are ready to engulf us, you and I can know that Jesus is not worried about the outcome of our lives, or of history, or of anything else. He has already won the day, and is enjoying the worship of an innumberable host.
Hockey teams may win or lose. Your spouse, your children, your friends, your job, your money, your health can all let you down. Praise God though, that Jesus’ team never loses. The victory celebration is already in full swing, and those who are on his side are never disappointed.
I hope these are some timely thoughts you this Easter and throughout the playoffs!