Whose team are you in?

9:49:00 AM

This is an excerpt from a message I shared at our church youth 'Plug-In', Happy Easter ya all!:
Recently on twitter, Pastor Rick Warren tweeted saying the greatest three words that separates B.C. and A.D. is 'He is risen.'

Easter is really a favorite Sunday for many Christians and if you are not a Christian or you are not sure about the God, bible thing, then this should really be fascinating for you! You see Christians celebrate Easter because everything we believe really hinges on these three words; the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. That's what Easter is all about. If it weren't true then for us, our whole existence here on this earth would be meaningless.
I don't know if any of you had been in games where they had to choose the teams from the number of people that were there. But they would choose two team captains and the captains could choose the players on the team. Normally the team captains would be the best in the whole group.

What I realized was that in order to be a part of the team: the good team with all the good players, you either had to be a good player yourself (so that you get chosen first!) or the captain of the team should have been a very close friend. If you were neither of these then, the only way you could become a part of the team were if there were no players left waiting to be selected. I used to fit in the last category most of the time. I would normally always hear those words, '...and Danny.'

When Jesus had come to earth, He too was in the process of making a team; a team that would belong to God. A team that would play for God and would win for God! What we call a team, God calls it being a part of His Family, Being a part of the kingdom of heaven; being His child. The opponent to be defeated was the devil and his small little demons!

His desire was that every person alive would be a part of His team.
Jesus even quoted this scripture once, Luke 19:10 (NKJV)  

"for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Jesus was in the process of building His team against the enemy. No one really understood this. Not even His disciples.

Moments before the crucifixion, Jesus and his disciples were in the garden, praying. And then people came looking to arrest Him.
Matthew 26:47-50 (NKJV)
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him."
49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
50 But Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

Jesus did not say anything even when He was betrayed by one of His team mates. He was ready to go along. So they caught hold of Jesus and arrested Him. But the disciples did not understand what was happening! They thought it was time to fight and that the enemy were those soldiers!

Matthew 26:51-54
51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
Jesus knew that they were not the enemy! So He told them to back off and He went on to even heal the servant. Even later when Jesus had to stand in front of the priests and in front of the judges, the soldiers etc. they mocked Him, insulted Him, spit on Him, Jesus didn't say one word. He didn't get angry; He didn't shout back at them, He just silently endured all of it.

When they took Him and finally crucified Him, Jesus on the cross, bleeding, thanks to Mel Gibson, we have a visual picture of it now, Jesus made a prayer which at the time no one could understand it as to how after all what Jesus had been through, could He make a statement like that.

Luke 23:34-35 (MSG)
Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they're doing." 
The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, "He saved others. Let's see him save himself! The Messiah of God-ha! The Chosen-ha!"

Can you believe that Jesus would make a prayer like that after all He had been through? The people couldn’t believe it that’s why it says there the people stood staring at Him! And the others just continued to make fun of Jesus.

How could Jesus make a prayer like that? Simple because He knew that they were not the enemy and He wanted them to join His team someday despite all of what they had done.

Jesus knew that if He forgave them now and if they knew it, they would still be able to join on the team.

The disciples didn't understand it. Jesus knew that these things should happen. That even though it looked as if they were losing the game; that they would win in it the end.

Jesus knew that this was the strategy to win. Jesus knew that the game was in His hands and He had to score to win the battle once and for all.

Ever hear of Michael Jordan? 

They say that there has never been a player like him in the game of basketball till date. He used to play for a club called the Chicago Bulls. I once read that their head coach was asked about his strategy in the final minutes when the game was on the line. He said that there was only one strategy; whoever got the ball was instructed to give it to Jordan. That was it! When the game was in the final minutes, the coach had no other strategy other than give it to the star player!

That was what Gods strategy was. To defeat the devil, He sent His best player to score against the devil.

Hebrews 2:14 (NKJV)
He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

That’s it then! Through His death on the Cross, Jesus just slam dunked on the devil’s head and brought the victory!

Jesus died for all. That's what Easter is about. Jesus died for all so that everyone would be a part of His team.

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