While driving through West Point, Nebraska, Saturday afternoon, a church outdoor sign read, “Lent is spring training for Christians.” OK. Spring training means baseball and preparing for actual game days. What do we train for during Lent?
March Madness tells the story. Lots of people are addicted to the NCAA college basketball tournament. There’s always an article somewhere about the lack of productivity in offices during this time. Most fans fill out a bracket; we get a kick in our house seeing who can pick the most winners.
Imagine the very first Lent. March Madness means enraged religious leaders incensed with Jesus’ devoted followers and their waning attention to them. Their claim to fame and leadership is being threatened by an underdog. Imagine the hissy fits! The devotion they desire is being given to a simple, HUMBLE carpenter. The status quo is shifting. They are doing all they can to prevent the Cinderella team (the Trinity) from winning this event. Jesus is the underdog-or so they think.
Then March Madness leads to March Sadness. Jesus is hung on the cross like a common criminal. His followers are grieving and I’m sure they don’t understand why a King should end up crucified. The Cinderella team has left the brackets too early. Jesus’ followers had him picked to go all the way to the Final 4. He’d reign over an earthly kingdom, continue performing miracles and preaching to the masses.
On Resurrection Sunday March Sadness is replaced by March Gladness. Hallelujah! Jesus raises from the dead. The King has won. He is Supreme. The angels sing “That One Shining Moment” and worship the Risen Savior. (OK, they probably don’t sing that, but that song rocks! I actually stay up to hear it.)
So remember March Madness leads to March Sadness which is replaced by March Gladness. We are all training for March Gladness. The opportunity to be with the Risen Savior on His turf is the goal of all Christians. How are you preparing this Lenten season?
In His Grip,