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Olympics & Jesus!


If you’re like me, then you have spent the recent days falling asleep and waking up to the Olympics.  I love the Olympics!  I feel like I can’t get enough of ‘em.  And there are many reasons why I feel this way which I will not discuss now. But one thought that I cannot get out of my head since the Olympics began is “what is Jesus thinking about these Olympic Games?”

I mean seriously, what is Jesus thinking about this?

I tend to think that Christ has an interest in them…and here is why.

Where else in all the world can you find countless different peoples and languages and cultures mixed all together in one single area interacting together?  Where else are there 200+ countries and territories gathered in one place with the rest of the world watching them?   Nowhere.

Think about this.  For these quick two weeks, you and me and everyone else who is keeping up is being exposed more than any other time in four years to so many unique and interesting flags and people and traditions and looks.  It is fascinating.  I have not thought about Angola in years, and we’re about to play them in basketball.  I never knew Chinese men were so huge and ripped and muscular, and they are winning gold medal after gold medal in gymnastics.  And I have never even heard of Azerbaijan, Andorra, or Brunei.  This is incredible.  If it were not for the Olympics I would not even know of these places.

And now that I do…here is what I’m thinking (and this is why I’m writing)…Christ’ blood has purchased people from every last one of those places!  Jesus must have an interest in the Olympics!

You see,  most of us who aren’t as up to date on geography really struggle or fail to comprehend the fullness of God and His redemptive work!  Of course we know that Heaven is going to be full of all types, but that usually means blacks and whites and others, and english-speakers, spanish-speakers and others.  We fail to realize or remember that that means people from Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, & Azerbaijan (just to name the ’A’s).  And the Olympics reminds me of that.  In fact, the Olympics not only remind me of that.  They give me a picture of that. On TV this week I have seen so many different looking people who speak so many different languages who come from so many different places and cultures.

And Christ is so in tuned with all of that!  Jesus is no more American than He is Azerbaijan…and I have never even heard of that place.  How awesome is that!  Its too awesome!  Jesus is so complex, yet so simple.  He loves me, little ol’ me, Josh Greene. He knows slang english from southern USA.  I pray to Him daily in that language, and I read His Word daily in that language.  But He also knows Arabic, Mandarin, French, and whatever they speak and read in Azerbaijan.  And people daily pray to Him in those languages too and read His word daily in those languages too. And its not a problem at all for Christ. He planned it that way.  Jesus is amazing! Jesus is wonderful! The Olympics teach me that!

Jesus may very well take interest in the Olympics. And thats neat to think about,  But let us not forget He doesn’t take delight in them.  He loves the diversity of all the peoples in the world being together in one place.  But He isn’t glorified by them simply being there. No, He’s not.

He’s delighted when people humbly bow and worship Him because they know that He has taken their place in death and punishment.  He’s glorified when people believe in His death as a redeeming sacrifice for them. He’s worshipped when people joyfully accept His gracious love and forgiveness.

And there’s going to be a time when similar to the Olympics all peoples will be gathered together again.

The Olympics remind me of that time when all the peoples of the world will be assembled together, literally all the peoples. And they won’t just be there together, no they will be worshipping together.  And it may not be on a fourth year.  Its the future scene that John sees in between the openings of the 6th and 7th seals by the slain Lamb in the book of Revelation.  Its the scene where John looks and sees “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all the tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!””

That’s right!  Salvation belongs to Jesus, and one day every single type of human being EVER will humbly, joyfully, and mightily cry it out!

To speak an understatement, That will be awesome! The Olympics may be the closest thing to what that consummate moment will look like, (not be like for there is not and never will be anything like that) but it may be the closest thing to what it will look like.  All the different peoples gathered together in one place.  The Olympics have taught me and reminded me of that.  I thank God for the Olympics!

And as that large multitude says at another time “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!”

I can’t wait to be there!

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