Summary: Jesus never tapped. When someone taps out, they are surrendering to their opponent. They are throwing in the towel, they are giving up, they are quitting the fight. They are saying you win, its over, I’m done, it’s finished.
Jesus Never Tapped Out
(Note to Pastor’s I started this message with a video made in house of a 5 year old doing mixed martial arts type fighting with his father, it ended with the child putting his father in an arm bar, and the dad tapping out. I used this to explain what tap out means in the world of wrestling and MMA. It was a humorous way of introducing the tap out concept to those who did not know what it meant.)
Today we are going to talk about hanging in there when you are facing opposition. We are going to use a euphemism from the world of sports to illustrate what we are talking about. In the sport of wrestling and mixed martial arts if you are in great pain or can’t take it any more you can tap out.
When someone taps out, they are surrendering to their opponent. They are throwing in the towel, they are giving up, they are quitting the fight. They are saying you win, its over, I’m done, it’s finished.
Tapout is from the world of MMA, or mixed martial arts.
Some of you, who are a little older have heard of the "thrilla in Manilla." Which was the 3rd and final bout between Mohammad Ali and Smoking Joe Frazier. They had fought twice earlier, Frazier won the first match, Ali the second. This third and final match was held in Quezon City, subburb of Manilla in the Philippines. Like I said it was called the "thrilla in Manilla," the contest got its name from the frequent Ali rhymed boast that it would be a "Killa and a Thrilla and a Chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila".
It was a bruising match and in the 15th and final round Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to come out and fight, fearing for his personal safety. That resulted in a TKO for Ali, and is the boxing equivalent of tapping out and giving up.
Here is our text for the message today:
Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We have one more verse to read and I want to show it in three different translations so you can see it from a different angle:
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (KJV)
Heb 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. (NAS)
Heb 12:3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. [That] will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (MSG)
I like the KJV and its use of the word contradiction instead of hostility like the other versions use. Growing up on occasion I would hear my mother say, "don’t you dare contradict me!" It was usually followed by some contradiction to my rear end. Can you say ouch!
The Ali-Frazier fight, though billed as the greatest fight in the 20th century was nothing compared to the battle Jesus waged on a daily basis. The word contradiction means to be in direct opposition to, to attempt to overrule, and to assert or express the opposite. The writer of Hebrews tells us that if you are struggling and thinking about throwing in the towel, look at Jesus as your great example of someone who didn’t quit when the battle waxed hot, and his foes multiplied.