By Jon Wren
Good sportsmanship is one of the values we try to foster in our kids. From the time they start playing Little League, we encourage them to shake hands after a game. We talk about the virtue of humility when they win and being gracious when they lose. This value is so ingrained in our culture that many professional sports leagues penalize players who display poor sportsmanship, taunt the other team, or celebrate excessively after scoring.
Good sportsmanship, in many ways, is an important character trait and value to live up to. Yet, according to the apostle Paul, when it comes to sin, Christ was anything but a good sport. Listen to what he wrote:
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youalive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:13-15).
Jesus took our sin and made a public spectacle of it. Jesus laughed at our sin, mocked it, and publicly displayed it’s defeat for all to see. At the cross, Paul said, Jesus defeated all of our guilt, shame, sin, and failures . . . and he invites us to join him in gloating and celebrating his victory.
Paul reminds us sin is not a noble and worthy opponent. Rather, sin is a vicious and deadly foe that must be destroyed at all costs. We should celebrate, laugh, and cheer because of the victory we have in Christ.
When considering the work of Christ on the cross, it can be appropriate to be still, reflective, and somber—but it is just as appropriate to celebrate. At Communion, we are invited to join with Christ and be joyful because he has won, his enemies have lost, and we are completely and totally forgiven.
Jon Wren is a pastor, speaker, and author who loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slowly.