“The Mavericks have scaled the NBA playoff mountain and have planted their flag, they are the NBA champions for 2010-2011.” This is the famous call from Dallas Mavericks radio play-by-play announcer, Chuck Cooperstein, when the Mavericks finished their incredible and improbable playoff run and were victorious in June of 2011.
NBA fans may remember when the game ended, Mavericks superstar forward and Finals MVP, Dirk Nowitzki quickly escaped to the locker room with his hands on his head, overwhelmed with the magnitude of the moment. He did not celebrate by giving hugs or high fives to anyone, he did not look for any reporter for an interview, in fact he had to be persuaded to come back onto the court for the trophy presentation.
Dirk later explained his actions in an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, saying “I had to get a moment. I was crying a bit. I was a little emotional. … I actually didn’t want to come out for the trophy, but the guys talked me into it.” And now, after 10 years of playoff disappointments, struggles, endless hours at the gym, people calling him soft and saying he did not have what it took to win a championship, he finally did it! He was ultimately victorious! Because of this, he will go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history, and be remembered for one of the most dominant playoff performers of all-time. But in the midst of this victory, Dirk was overwhelmed with emotion.
To a much greater degree, it is the same for Christians. We struggle, we fight, we have joy, we have disappoints, we laugh, we smile, we succeed, we fail. But through it all, not matter what happens, we are ultimately victorious through Jesus Christ. And through this victory, we cannot help but become emotional as we consider the magnitude of who Jesus is. I just imagine standing in the presence of Jesus one day. Getting to see his face. Getting to touch his clothes. Getting to hug his neck. Getting to fall at his feet and kiss them.
I hear so much today about what people hope heaven is like. They say things like, “I hope I get a big mansion.”, “I hope the food is great.”, “I hope my dog is there.”, “ I can’t wait to see the streets of gold.” , “I am looking forward to seeing loved ones who have gone before me.” In my mind I hope all of these things too, but if I arrive to heaven and see only a mansion, food, gold, or even my sister who passed away tragically, and I do not see Jesus, then I will consider it the opposite of victorious. I will consider it a loss. That will be the darkest day. So when I see Jesus I will stand before him totally victorious in him. Clothed in his righteousness, bought with his blood, seeing the richness of his mercy, and his grace upon grace.
Like Dirk, I will not be able to contain my emotions in this victory. I will be overwhelmed to be in his presence. To see the creator of the universe, the God-man, the sovereign, the writer of history, the master of the seas, the alpha, The omega, the perfect and final sacrifice, the conqueror of sin, the slayer of death, the final forgiver, the one who has crushed the head of the snake, the ultimate victor… I will be forever moved and stirred in my heart.
In this moment I hope the streets of gold, the mansions, the food, and other material things that suit my preferences will just be an afterthought. For they are not the prize, they are not my source of victory. Even seeing my sister would mean nothing if the source of her resurrection was not present. I say this because Jesus is the prize. Jesus is the victory. In Him, you also are more victorious than you have ever imagined.
So be encouraged. Victory has been sealed for you before the first ticking in time. Not based on you or your circumstances, but on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I hope you will consider this in light of not only everything you read on this blog, but in everything you do and in everything that happens to you in life whether you are a Dad or not. For Christ has scaled eternity’s mountain and planted his flag. He is the victor. And through him, you are also victorious.
You are loved,