Dance in October

Two scenes:

Scene 1:  A man and woman standing in shame, holding haphazardly sewn fig leaves over their naked bodies.  Around them slithers the devil-indwelt snake listening to God pronouncing judgment on their sin.  The first prophecy God speaks is to the Devil, his voice ringing through the garden of Eden.  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15 NIV)

Scene 2:

Two popular actors in a current sports apparel commercial having a phone conversation concerning their baseball teams and their long-time, vicious rivalry.

“How can you be a fan of that team?” the one actor trash-talks.  “It’s like being a fan of fascism?”

“No,” the other one replies seriously.  “No, it’s like being a huge fan of winning.  Which we do.  Relentlessly.”

To the retorts from his frenemy of “not this year,” the man continues.  “Go ahead, celebrate in April.   We’ll dance in October.”

Who knew that in a sports commercial at the start of baseball season, you could find a spiritual application for Holy Week?

Thousands of years ago, when Adam and Eve sinned, the Devil celebrated.  He watched as God condemned humankind to a physical death and pronounced their descendants spiritually dead from conception.  Like those oh so fallible sports analysts in the pre-season, he would have predicted himself winning it all.   Domination of humankind, lord of the earth.  Everything.

For a season of 4,000 years, the Devil merrily cavorted through mankind wreaking havoc and attempting to destroy humans and the special nation that God dared to set aside for Himself, and from which the promised deliverer would come.

Then came reckoning day.

Darkness covered the city of Jerusalem and the hill of the skull of Golgotha while on a cross between two thieves, that Precious Son of God cried out in agony and despair, “My God!  My God!  Why have you forsaken me?”

Heaven turned its back on Jesus, leaving Him to become our sin and bear its punishment alone.  On the true black Friday, to those around the cross, it looked as if Satan had won.  He’d struck the heel of the Son of God.

Then, Jesus lifted back his head and roared while he died, “It is finished!”

Finished.  The fully innocent lamb spilled the last blood sacrifice, and accepted the death that sin required.

Then came Sunday morning.  Jesus the Messiah rose again, conquering sin and defeating death.  The Last Adam finally crushed Satan’s head.  “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Cor. 15:54b-55 KJV)

Satan celebrated in Eden.  God danced on Resurrection Day.

He Is Risen!

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