I have to admit it: I am a die-hard Minnesota Vikings football fan.
Since their inception in the early 1960s, the Vikings have fielded some storied, amazing teams. They have been to the Superbowl 4 times—the last some 40 years ago—with no championships to show. They have come oh-so-close to making it back to the Superbowl on several occasions but fell short of victory on those games as well. There is a saying that you can tell a Vikings fan because we wear our broken hearts on our sleeves. Yet, Vikings fans still maintain hope that someday our beloved team will triumph, and we will forget the pain of the past as we celebrate the long-awaited victory…
…or maybe not—only time will tell.
The bottom line is this: Human efforts and teams can’t guarantee success.
God, on the other hand, has an absolutely perfect victory record! He is the Champion of all champions and has triumphed over all challenges and challengers, both seen and unseen. He is victorious. Unlike any sports team, you can count on this fact now and forever. God’s most astounding victory took place two thousand years ago and is still unfolding today. Here it is:
Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, lived a flawless life, and on the cross was the perfect sacrifice and remedy for humankind’s flawed, broken nature and sins. Equally important, Jesus was victorious over all things as He rose from the dead! He is alive today, and will come again to bring a new heaven and earth—free from death, sin, and tears—to all who say yes to Him.
God always intended that Jesus’ victory should be ours as well, as the Scriptures state:
“… [God] gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57)
When we experience firsthand a redefining relationship with Jesus Christ, our defeats give way to His triumph, our failures disappear in the light of his supremacy. Our sins are also forever wiped away in His sweeping conquest over sin and death. Like a championship celebration, we get to take part in God’s victory celebration because it is also ours!
But there’s more: Because of Jesus’ victory, we are also vindicated and set apart for a fantastic life and eternity ahead. To be vindicated means we are set free from all allegations, shame, and blame—past, present, and future. Furthermore, we are pardoned and made clean in God’s sight. We are also defended and protected from all forces that would attempt to keep us apart from God and His perfect plan for us.
Let there be no doubt that this is true because this promise comes from God, the Ultimate, perfect Victor and Vindicator. This Truth is summed up beautifully in one of my favorite biblical passages. I invite you to soak this in as you read it:
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8: 31-35, 37-39)
I have included an original song “With You Always” that I wrote based on this passage. I hope it encourages you to seek God even more in your life.
I can’t guarantee that my favorite football team will ever win the Superbowl. Still, I can say with certainty that God’s victory is a done deal. The best news of all is that you and I are invited to share in Jesus’ triumph over sin and death. I’m on board with God on this—how about you?
God bless you.