I am not as athletic as I would like to be.
I cannot throw a ball to save my life. If I throw it with all my might, I can’t even make it fly halfway across our church gym (though everyone else seems to have that superhuman strength…which I guess isn’t as superhuman as I’d like to think).
I can only remember scoring one or two goals in my six seasons of soccer.
I am an uncoordinated, floppy something when I swim. I can’t do the strokes and get air and swim all at once.
My one summer of field hockey was a disaster. I got hit in the knee with a field hockey ball, fell down to the ground, and started bawling. I’ve hated it ever since. (Although, I actually hated it before that incident.)
I’m not a complete nincompoop in tennis or basketball. But my swing and serve need work in tennis, and I could definitely do better defense and have cleaner shots in basketball. Those are kind of the essentials I suppose.
There was one season of victory in my sports career. Sadly, I was not the cause of it.
I got put on an indoor soccer team with one girl and about six boys. Was this fun? No. But those stinky boys were good players. They scored lots of goals and blocked lots of shots for our team.
Our team won every game that season. But I didn’t have to do anything special. I just had to play. I just had to show up and get out on the field. I didn’t have to come up with scoring strategies or face the intimidation of being in the goalie box every week.
I didn’t earn that victory, but I got to experience it.
This is how victory is with Jesus.
He earned our victory for us and lets us experience it. He conquered sin and hell and death; and He shares that victory with us. We do not deserve that victory.
But if we accept Him—if we choose Jesus—we get to experience victory.
But when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NASB)
Jesus gave us victory. We get to experience the blessings of His resurrection and His conquering of sin. If He hadn’t conquered sin, we wouldn’t be able to do so today. But because He has the victory over sin and death, death doesn’t have the same sting.
Yes, we feel pain; and we have to watch others pass away. This is a bitter ache in our souls.
But imagine if Jesus hadn’t conquered sin and death.
We’d be trapped in our evil ways and be unable to get out of them. That drug addiction wouldn’t have been conquerable. You wouldn’t be victorious in that porn problem. You wouldn’t be able to stop lying to your friends or yelling at your brother or mocking the less fortunate. These habits would continue on.
If Jesus hadn’t risen, then there would be no hope.
We would be serving a dead Savior Who wasn’t able to conquer the grave.
But He did.
If we’re saved, that we’re going to heaven for eternity when we die. And this is only because “He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let Jesus give you victory over those addictions, habits, and issues you’re having. I’m sorry to break this to you, but if you’ve conquered something, you weren’t the one conquering. You have the Holy Spirit living inside you, helping you fight temptations.
Live and breathe in this sweet victory. And thank the One Who earned it for you.