A Crazy Thing Happened In Snuckerville - The Warrior's Journey®

A Crazy Thing Happened In Snuckerville

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Imagine for a moment this crazy situation. You live in the minor city of Snuckerville – a city torn apart by crime, drug abuse, and unemployment. But, despite its small size and many problems, this city has a Major League baseball team – the Snuckerville Serpents. The Serpents are a “last place team,” always ending up at the bottom of the ranks with several times more losses than wins. But the city stands behind them all the way.

This loyalty to its own team includes a hatred of the team’s arch-enemy – the New York Yankees. But these are not the Yankees of today, but of the late 1940s through the early 1960s – the unbeatable Yankees. And whenever the home team is forced to play them, it’s a slaughter. The Serpents can hardly muster a hit, much less score a run. Nearly every time the Serpents play the Yankees, it’s a shutout. Consequently, Snuckerville hates the Yankees and prays for their failure.

However, the opposite takes place. The owners of the Snuckerville Serpents bail out. They sell their team, to the rich and powerful owner of the Yankees, who also owns several major corporations. And this owner’s first act is to dissolve the Snuckerville Serpents. This is particularly painful to the wretched city.

Yet the people of Snuckerville do not grasp all that’s going on. The rich and powerful owner of the Yankees has a crazy plan. He’s moving the headquarters and manufacturing base of his major corporations to Snuckerville. This effort will bring jobs, wealth, and prosperity to the broken city.

But most amazing of all, he’s bringing his baseball team with him. Yes, the New York Yankees are about to become the Snuckerville Yankees. This was his only reason for dissolving the Serpents – to make room for winningest team on earth.

The city is transformed. Crime disappears. Drugs are eradicated. Unemployment vanishes. And although the Snuckervillians’ new relationship with the Yankees is a little awkward at first – no longer foes but friends, they soon learn to love them. In fact, as the Yankees proceed to take one World Series after another, the Snuckervillians learn to boast in their champion team – and boast heartily.

I thought about this today while reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans, chapter 5. In the first eleven verses, Paul explains our marvelous new relationship with our one-time enemy – God. Yes, Paul explains, we were enemies of the Almighty (Romans 5:10). But God sent His Son to bear our sins upon the cross – and then to suffer the full fury of God’s judgments and wrath against our sins. This was the supreme demonstration of His love for us – that while we were wicked sinners and enemies, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).

And by faith in God’s Son, night has turned to day for us. God declares us “Not Guilty” in the court of heaven. The record of every sin in heaven’s archives is deleted by the blood of Jesus. And God clothes us with His own flawless righteousness. This is the meaning of “justification.”

And by being justified by faith in Christ, we are now fully reconciled with God. He who was once our worst enemy is now our greatest Friend. And because of this new relationship Paul tells us we have three wonderful reasons to boast.

First, Paul writes, we can now “boast in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:3). In other words, we who were once “children of God’s wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), now look forward to bearing the perfect image of Jesus Christ and being glorified in our new resurrected bodies in heaven. God who has clothed us with His righteousness, will one day clothe us with His glory (Romans 8:18-25; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:1-2). So, no matter how badly we feel about our present frailty and flaws, we can boast in hope of ultimate glorification.

Second, Paul explains that this process of transformation is already in progress. It’s the process of sanctification, in which God is making us more and more like His glorious Son, Jesus Christ. Paul admits that, in this life, this process is a painful one. It involves hardship, trials, tribulations, and all sorts of other humiliating circumstances. But as humiliating as these circumstances may be, Paul says we can boast in them. Yes, when we suffer humiliation from physical weakness, financial hardship, and battering waves of injustice, we can boast heartily that every single trial is producing a giant within us. They’re making our inner man a hundred times bigger than our outer man. True, we cannot yet see this, but the resurrection will reveal just how great God has made us.

Then in Romans 5:11 Paul gives us a third reason to boast. He writes, “And not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now been reconciled.”  We boast in God? Isn’t that a bit anticlimactic? Isn’t that “a given”?

Yet, remember the story of the Snuckerville Yankees. The team they once dreaded and hated is now their team, fighting for them, bringing them glory and pride. And now they can boast heartily in the team that brings them victory after victory.

Isn’t the same true in our new relationship with God? God is now for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). Having redeemed us when we were His enemies and at our very worst, God now marshals every resource of heaven and earth to perfect and consummate our salvation. Now Christ leads us from victory to victory over all the hordes of hell that used to bully us and hold us captives. Yes, we can boast in God. For He turns our night to day and brings us unfathomable riches and glory.

So, if you are a believer in Jesus, hold your head up high. Lift your hands and voice in praise to God. And boast heartily in the God who loves you, makes you victorious, and will cause you to stand before His glorious presence blameless and with inexpressible joy (Jude 24-25).

PRAYER:  Almighty and loving heavenly Father, in You, Your holy Son, and Your great salvation I boast. I exult in hope of the glory of God. I exult in my tribulations. And I exult in You who have made me victorious over all my enemies. Praise be to Your holy name forever and ever. Amen.

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