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Sermon Preview – “Japanese Baseball & the Cross”

April 11, 2009

Japanese professional baseball – there’s nothing like it. And there are
no fans like the Japanese fans, complete with mascots, team cheers and
stadium sing-a-longs. No passively cool fans here. Japanese fans are
enthusiasm on caffeine – to the tenth power. Yea, I think the Japanese
love their baseball teams.

While we were in strategic church-plant planning meetings last night, my son and his Japanese friends went to the Yokohama Bay Stars vs. the Yomiuri Giants baseball game. (FYI – the Giants are the Yankees of Japanese baseball – the most loved
and the most hated team with the most wins in history) I hated to miss
it, but we were kinda busy changing the world – one church-plant at a
time.

Anyway, the game was
tied, 1-1, until the 5th inning. Then it was over – not quite finished,
but over – even though it still had 4 innings to go. Many Bay Star fans
left before the last inning because they could predict the outcome.

Game over. Finished. Final score: 10-1. Bay Stars lost – again. 

The
visiting Giants fans left the Yokohama Stadium with fist-pumping
confidence, smack-talking smiles and a bounce in their step.

The
Bay Star fans just left. Early. As soon as they sensed it was finished.
No enthusiasm. No shouts of joy. No smack. No smiles.

What does this have to do with Easter?

John 19:28 – Knowing that everything had now been finished… 
                                      
John 19:30 – Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that He bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

IT IS FINISHED!

Game over. We win. How should we act now?

I am preaching at Yokohama Grace Bible Church Easter Sunday about what Jesus
finished for us on the cross 2000 years ago and how that should effect
our lives Monday through Saturday, not just on Sunday.

Same old message – The Cross.
Nothing new.
Nothing more important.
Nothing more powerful.

It is finished, but I’m not (finished preparing…)

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