“Everybody makes mistakes. But…you can find redemption. Yes, even glory.”
This closing statement from a USA Today article in the sports section caught my attention. Two baseball players who had been caught taking performance-enhancing drugs are now “all clean” and have each played a major role in getting their respective teams to the post season. They are lauded for admitting to and taking full responsibility for their past actions, and capitalizing the second chance given them.
What a picture of grace that is. Whether or not he intended it this way, the journalist perfectly captured the heart of the gospel message. Sure, “mistake” is a rather soft word for our spiritual condition without Christ, but a little word substitution, and, as my pastor would say, that’s gospel!
Everybody has fallen short.
All have sinned.
No one does good, no not one.
Your past is wiped clean.
You can find redemption.
Yes, even glory.
Where this analogy breaks down is where the gospel becomes all the more amazing. Unlike these two athletes, our “second chance” is not contingent on whether our performance measures up to the standards of a coaching staff, or how long we keep ourselves “clean”. In fact, we don’t even do the cleaning up.
The very One whom we have offended, have fallen short of, is the One who forgives us and makes us clean—-the same One who then welcomes us on to His “team”, and gives us grace to move forward, strength to serve in His name, and victory to the end.
The One in whom we find redemption. Yes, even glory.
That is, glory that is awaiting us on that day post-life when we will triumphantly enter the throne room of heaven. Glory not for us to revel in or pat ourselves on the back for, but glory to lay back down at the feet of the Lamb who was slain, who alone is worthy.
That’s gospel. Right there on page 3C of USA Today.