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We Love a Hero

July 29, 2012

On Friday night, apparently, 4 billion people tuned in to watch the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

I’m not sure how accurate that figure is but certainly, as far as possible, the whole world seemed to join in the celebration, a global recognition of human effort and triumph.

The opening ceremony was breath taking, visually, musically and emotionally extraordinary. It took us through history, creatively referencing major moments in history where Great Britain has pioneered on the world stage. I have to say that I genuinely felt proud to be British.

As I watched in wonder, the world joining as one, with representation from 204 different nations coming together under the same song, it reminded me of something, it reminded me of what the bible says will happen in the end:

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

I wonder if you have ever noticed how much we love a hero?

We go crazy for them, whether it be a football champion who scores a scorcher and causes the stadium to erupt with cheer. Or even the lead guitarist who earns the adoration from thousands of fans gazing fascinated at how fast his fingers fondle the fret board. Or perhaps even a brave war hero who gives himself selflessly for the lives of others.

Throughout history we have loved to celebrate our heroes. We love to glory in their victory. And we will see much of this glorying in the victory of others in the coming weeks throughout the course of the 2012 Olympics.

It’s perfectly natural; we were born with a great capacity to praise and adore the heroic and the astonishing, but no matter how impressive the Olympian victory, it will always be limited.

During the opening ceremony a commentator was making reference to the 8 people who were carrying the Olympic flag. I was amused by their comments as they described one person as ‘the founder of liberty’ and another as ‘the champion of the earth’. A little bit melodramatic perhaps, but interesting given the prophetic edge this ceremony carried.

It’s interesting how much this ceremony pointed to Jesus and His victory.

We don’t celebrate the length of a triple jump but the length that God stretched to pick us up from the dirt. It’s not the defeat experienced in a boxing ring that impacts us, but the defeat of sin and death that Jesus achieved. It’s not the distance of a javelin throw that changes our lives but the distance Christ has removed our sins from us. We don’t celebrate the synchronisation of a dive, anywhere near us much as we celebrate us being synchronised to Christ.

This whole ceremony was built upon the achievements of men and women, and we revelled on a global scale as we celebrated our greatness.

Just imagine the difference therefore when that great multitude, that Revelation speaks of, comes together and celebrates not the limited achievement of mankind, but the limitless victory of Jesus Christ. That great sound of celebration as every tribe and nation sings of the King of Kings. The one who is really the founder of liberty and truthfully the champion of the earth.

Kind of exciting don’t you think?

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