Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Supersized Superbowl

The Superbowl is always a big deal – a very big deal indeed! It has literally risen to holiday status and really attracts more attention than do the smaller holidays. The money spent between tickets, parties, travel, advertising, merchandise, and the legal and illegal gambling is staggering and certainly not indicative of a struggling economy

!But this year’s super game was big in another way – the way that makes the NFL and those who use the game’s forum to push their products through it thrilled. Superbowl 44 was not only the most watched NFL championship ever, but it was also the single most watched TV event of all time. Some 106.5 million watched the contest and an estimated 150 million saw at least 6 minutes or more. The new television champion exceeded the numbers that watched the finale of M*A*S*H back in 1983 by ½ million.

These impressive numbers may remind some students of Scripture of a far more amazing moment described in the New Testament book of Revelation. An exiled Apostle John speaks of a future time – one that will make the numbers attributed to the Superbowl pale in comparison both in quantity and in eternal importance.

Chapter one begins by describing the love of God and the resulting forgiveness of sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. But the subject then shifts in verse 7 to a coming to a stunning moment with sobering results – something predicted to be watched fully by everyone alive at the time. John writes there. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” There will be in that great day two opposing reactions to the coming of Christ. One will be of overwhelming joy by those who know Him and the other overpowering dread by those who don’t.

The reaction of all who ignored or rejected Christ at that time is painfully described in Revelation 6:15-16. “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

The opposite reaction will be the unimaginable joy and superb praise offered from those who trusted Christ as their Savior and were thereby properly prepared for this most awesome occurrence. Their spiritual response will include the kind of activity described in John’s vision beginning later in the fifth chapter of the prophecy. It will the beginning stage of a heavenly-based and eternal state of praise and worship.

Verse 11 declares, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

A glorious future of reward and worship awaits every true believer in Jesus Christ. But until that blessed moment arrives , the attitude and lifestyle of God’s people should be reflected by that which is also described through John’s pen in the third chapter of his first letter.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3)

Bill Breckenridge

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