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Our hometown basketball team is having an historic season. They are undefeated. I don’t know how they will do in the NCAA tournament, but it has been fun to be free of white-knuckle games this season.

This thought occurred to me after I watched them win their last regular season game: What would it be like to be a fan of a team that you were confident would win their games all the time, every time? Following, was this: Not only am I a fan of such a team, I am on such a team. The truth is, as hard as it may be to believe, my team has already won all the games, even before they were ever played.

I—we—cannot lose. I will never be on a losing team throughout eternity. A winner of every game for a trillion years.

Talk about a winning season.

Unlike a basketball team, however, I did not contribute anything at all to my team’s victories. It didn’t matter if my shots clanked off the rim, I threw errant passes or double-dribbled, or traveled when I got the ball. We would always win.

This team’s championship game was actually the very first game the team played. Strangely, that game was won when everyone, including the team members, was certain it had been lost. Stranger still is that only one player participated in the final moments of that game and scored all the points, all by Himself.

Still more incredulous is how He won. He won by losing. He lost in the worst way it is possible for a person to lose: He died on the court and was carried out.

But He won, nonetheless.

“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:9).1

Jesus died and lived again to be Lord over everybody, whether they were alive or dead.

Now, I guess you could say the game was fixed because prophets from centuries before proclaimed the victory. The outcome was known before the game was played. Seven hundred years or so before Jesus, Isaiah wrote, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Yep. I like this losing, winner God.

The other players? They win, too, in the same way—by losing.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24–25).

The world doesn’t work this way. It doesn’t think this way. No, it’s “You only have one life to live, so live it to the fullest.” That’s why it took someone from off this world to do this. This is what Jesus said about Himself: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).

He ain’t from this neck of the woods, as they say.

So, Jesus won it all. By dying. By suffering the wounding, the bruising, the punishment you deserve for your sins. He rose, after being dead.

And you will rise after being dead. That’s all been won, taken care of. If you believe what has been presented here, that is. If you don’t, you may win a lot of stuff here on earth, stuff that will some day inevitably end up in a junk pile. With Jesus, in Him, you win stuff that is in heaven that will never end up in a junk pile.

The prophet Daniel heard these words when he had a vision of the last days:

“And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:27).

The dominion and the greatness of His kingdom shall be given to Christians. Better than an undefeated basketball team’s trophy gathering dust on a shelf, isn’t it? That trophy will mean very little in only seventy-five years. People will look at it and think, “Hmm. Great team.” And that will be it. But in heaven, it will mean nothing—even if the team had an undefeated season. The rewards for the losing players—who actually won—will not perish and will not fade.

We’re talking about a kingdom here.

We’re talking eternity here.  

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

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