Jesus and Rugby
Is the Gospel like a contact sport?
Having noted the recent suggestion that tackling be removed from school rugby, I was about to start writing my "Front Cover" on the subject of "Jesus and Rugby", when I came across an article written by Richard Powney - and he makes the point better than I ever could! It needs to be read in its entirety and, as it is too long for the cover you can find it inside the latest edition of the magazine (on page 3).
Richard refers to the resurrection of Jesus "which enabled the disciples to become bold and courageous in their witness to Jesus".
It is indeed the resurrection that we have celebrated this Easter, for it is the uniquely Christian festival of death being defeated by the power of God. Of course, there is a risk in the Rugby tackle, as there is a risk every time we take a car on the road or cross it as a pedestrian. God's provision in sending His Son to live amongst us on this Earth constituted a huge risk - and he knew it! indeed we can even say that it was not so much a risk as a certainty - from the foundation of His world, God knew that His Son would be rejected by His own creation.
But the crucificion, followed by the resurrection, demonstrates that we do not have a "risk averse" God, but a loving heavenly Father who is prepared to take the risk of crucifixion for the sake of saving His people and giving us the wonderful eternal hope of resurrection, as the Christian shares with Christ the assurance of eternal life.
The Apostle Paul writes "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ... for I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or 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 Chapter 8 verses 1 and 38.
Let us thank our Heavenly Father that He is not a "risk averse" God!
Richard Powney is Evangelism Resources co-ordinator at the Evangelical Alliance, for whom we acknowledge the article.