Summary: This was our "Great Fall Kickoff" I tied how Jesus can turn losses into a great victory... into a call to GO and serve!
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Well ladies and gentleman, this announcer has never seen such a lopsided game in all my years of broadcasting. At the kickoff… it looked like it would be a very interesting match up as the Jerusalem “Roman Soldiers” arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane Ball Field to take on Jesus’ “Devastating Disciples” in this championship battle for all the marbles!
The Disciples looked like they would take a very early lead as their star player Simon “The Rock” Peter struck out with a devastating aerial attack. But in a very stunning move that I’m sure will be debated for centuries to come… Jesus benched Peter and allowed the Roman Soldiers to take the field on Offense.
Since then, it has been one offensive strike after another as the Roman Soldiers have really run up the score on Jesus. They have pounded him with their ground attack and they have literally crucified him with their aerial attack.
It has been a brutal match up to watch. I would never have guessed that the events these past days would be so entirely lopsided as the Jerusalem “Roman Soldiers” have completely shut out Jesus’ “Devastating Disciples” six to nothing.
As the final seconds of this game run down, I would like to take a moment to thank our broadcast team… Pliny of Damascus our Head of Production, Simon of Arimathea our Road Team Manager, Mary of Capernum our Director of…. HOLD ON ONE SECOND LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! The last nail was in the cross… Jesus was dead and buried… the tomb was sealed… BUT now an entire host of angels have taken the field!
I DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I’M SEEING. It’s a HAIL MARY PLAY! HERE’S THE PASS! THEY CAUGHT THE BALL!!! At the 40… the 30… the 20… the 10… 5… TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! In a stunning turn of events this team has been resurrected!!!
Ladies and gentleman… you have just witnessed the greatest upset ever in the history of the world! THE DISCIPLES ARE STORMING THE FIELD!! THE DISCIPLES ARE STORMING THE FIELD!!! What an amazing come from behind victory. I still can not believe it. Jesus WINS! Jesus WINS!
While this is a very contemporary dramatization of what Jesus’ last days were like, I think it really helps paint us a picture… of the kind of emotion that the disciples must have been feeling following such an amazing event. Can you imagine the excitement following Jesus’ resurrection? Can you imagine all the electricity in the air? Can you imagine what the disciples must have been feeling? It would be like your team winning the Super Bowl, or the World Series. It would be… simply… amazing.
Now… it is really, really interesting to me what happens right after Jesus’ resurrection in the book of Matthew. Matthew doesn’t say much at all about Jesus appearing to the women, or about Jesus appearing to his disciples… what we have is this morning’s scripture text.
Let’s read it again starting with verse 18. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
You know what I hear when I read this mornings scripture text? You know what this reminds me of? Jesus is leading his disciples in what could easily be described… as a pep-rally!
I think it’s brilliant. With this one small paragraph… he takes this miraculous event and turns it back onto the disciples… turns it back onto every single one of us with this pep-rally.
You know… a good pep-rally can be an extremely useful tool. I remember the rallies from my high school days. We would all come together… dressed in the school colors… a large sea of red, white, and black. We would gather at the high school parking lot and have ourselves a gigantic bonfire. The pep band would play the school song, the cheerleaders would lead us in a few cheers, then… Coach would speak, and the entire town would get fired up… blood pumping… energy overflowing… ready to charge into the football season to have the best season ever!