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Who Really Is The Greatest? Part 4

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by bryan Dench

Do you have your uniform? You can wear Jesus' uniform!

Imagine you are in the locker room of your favorite NHL team dressing for a game. Suddenly you discover you don’t have your uniform jersey. The coach says. “What do you think you’re doing trying to go out with the team and no jersey? You don’t belong here.”

But suppose the team captain steps alongside and says to the coach, “No coach, I want him on the team, he can play. I have a jersey of mine he can wear.”

It’s a weak analogy but it might help us to think about the way Jesus clothes us with his righteousness so that we can stand before God.

Paul explains it in Galatians 3:27, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” And again, in Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Despite our imperfection, Jesus is willing to put us in the position of standing before God with Jesus’ uniform on, not our own.

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Most of us will not be good enough to play in the NHL, maybe not at any high competitive level. In hockey, as in all sports, it’s all about performance. And that’s not a bad thing: after all, it’s only hockey.

But when it comes to matters of eternal importance, do we want to be measured by our performance? Especially when we can instead be measured by the perfect performance of the one who is truly “the greatest,” Jesus Christ?

If you are with Christ, you are on the team, in fact you are an all-star!

When you are with Christ, you get an A on every test.

Why? Not because you are so good. Because Jesus has earned those rewards, and he will transfer their benefits to you when you trust him. So, when you come to stand before God, you can approach that moment with joy and with confidence. You will be accepted because of Jesus, if you acknowledge him as the greatest, not yourself or anything else, and make him the Lord of your life.

Jesus used the story of a wedding feast to help explain this to us in simple terms we could understand, recorded for us in Matthew 22:

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 

Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ So, those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So, he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

This is a vivid way Jesus used as he often did to make his listeners think about their ultimate goal: to be part of the wedding feast when the bridegroom (Jesus) celebrates with his bride (the church, you and me).

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But you have to be wearing the uniform, the right clothes. They are not your own. You could never gain them on your own strength. But you can be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ if you place your trust in Him. You can wear the uniform of the greatest!

Reflection

  1. Think about that story Jesus told of the wedding guest who did not have the proper clothes. What point was Jesus making?

  2. Do you realize that as a believer in Jesus Christ you are clothed with his perfect righteousness, and so can stand before God without fear of ultimate judgment?

  3. Do you rest in the truth that if your trust is in Jesus, you never have to worry about making the team, passing a test, or having the right uniform? If you are not resting in that, what scriptures might give you confidence?

Ephesians 3:11-12 - This is according to the purpose of the ages, which He made in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness, access, and confidence through faith in Him.

Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 10:27-29 - My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish-ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

1 John 5:11-13 - And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.