Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Redemption: Why I Love that Lebron James won the NBA title

Micro Redemption: Lebron James

This year’s playoffs were great. There was lots of drama, lots of last second heroics, and lots of hype surrounding Lebron James and the Miami Heat. James is a lightning rod of controversy within basketball. He came right of high school 2003 and went straight to the NBA, straight to the starting lineup of his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, and straight to the most marketable athlete in pro sports. Then two years ago he spurned the Cavaliers to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh; famously, “taking his talents to Miami”. In the spectacle that was “The Decision” he said they were going after multiple NBA Titles.

Then last year they reached the NBA Finals and lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Worse, for King James was that he disappeared in the Finals. Commentators everywhere were ready to call Lebron a failure and his decision to go to the Heat a giant ego play.

Then this year he turned it all around. He went from the goat that everything was blamed on to the hero. He had an outlandish performance in the playoffs (playing and defending all 5 positions). He scored, he rebounded, he played stellar defense, he facilitated the offense. He did it all. He was vindicated. His reputation was redeemed.

He had been in the doldrums. He was down, broken, and rose up and accomplished his goal. He got what he went after. I love that story. I love the story of redemption. I love a team that loses and comes back and wins. I love a guy who loses everything he has and comes back and becomes millionaire. I love redemption.

Macro Redemption: Jesus

Redemption is the great theme of Scripture. If you follow the overarching theme of the Bible it isn’t about being good or moral uprightness. The overarching theme of God’s revelation to us is redemption.

The story starts with God and His perfect creation in Genesis 1. The story moves into the Fall of man in Genesis 3. This plunges the whole world into decay and brokenness and dooms men to Hell (not to mention missing the whole point of existence). However, even in that bleak moment, God makes an unbelievable promise to people:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.
(Genesis 3:15 ESV)

He starts the hype of redemption. In essence He’s saying, “this fall will curse men, but I will redeem them”. The rest of the Old Testament shares the unfolding of that, continuing to predict the coming of the Redeemer.

THEN the New Testament kicks off with the coming of this Rescuer, Jesus of Nazareth. His life, death, and resurrection are put on full display as the key points of history and the fulfillment of the Genesis 3.15 promise. His life is perfect and without sin. His death redeems those who believe. His resurrection makes proof of His power. This Rescuer makes redemption possible, but we are still waiting for the fulfillment, where ALL things are made new. It will happen. I can’t wait for it to happen.

I love the story of Lebron James winning because it’s a small picture of redemption. Jesus winning is the ultimate story. Jesus wins. Jesus will always win.

Christ is all,

Coming Friday, "Redemption: Why I Hate That Lebron James Won The NBA Title"

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