Today’s Reading: Matthew 28
What does famed NFL player Barry Sanders and resurrected Jesus have in common? I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I do have a point.
Barry Sanders is considered one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time. He holds many of the coveted NFL records. Two things make Barry iconic in the sport’s world. First, his elusiveness. Barry’s runs were choreographed like a ballet. Though it was impressive to watch, what stood out more than anything about Barry’s plays was what happened after he scored a touchdown. In a time in sports where every tackle, sack, hit, and first down was celebrated like winning a Nobel Peace prize, Barry was a non-conformist and contrarian. He wouldn’t dance, jump into the stands, point to heaven, or find a hidden marker in the goal post. Every time without fail, he simply handed the ball to the ref. In his biography, people took the words of famed football coach Vince Lombardi to describe this action and said, “When you get to the end zone, act like you have been there before.” Barry had been there, a lot. No need to act like a kid seeing Walt Disney World for the first time.
So what does Barry Sanders and resurrected Jesus have in common?
We have come to the end of our first New Testament book (Matthew) and in today’s reading, we’re studying about the greatest event in world history, the resurrection of Jesus. He has accomplished His mission. Jesus has died for the sins of the world and resurrected from the dead after three days. He crushed death, hell, and Satan and crossed the goal line. He scored, to stay with our NFL comparison. Did Jesus shout over His accomplishment? Did He thump His chest? Did He jump into the crowd of disciples like a Lambeau leap?
This has to be one of my favorite moments of the resurrected Jesus. It took me by surprise and stunned me. Jesus flipped the ball to the ref. He acted like, This is what I do. No need to get all crazy.
Ready for this? These were the first words of the resurrected, I-just-beat-up-hell-and-the-devil Jesus:
The women ran from the tomb, badly frightened, but also filled with joy, and rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message. And as they were running, suddenly Jesus was there in front of them! “Good morning!” he said. And they fell to the ground before him, holding his feet and worshiping him. (Matthew 28:8-9, TLB)
Good morning? That’s what you say after you did all that? Thank God I’m not Jesus. My first resurrection appearance line would be something like: “Ha! Told you! Look at me now. You didn’t think I could do it. Bam, done!”
Not Jesus. He offered a ball flip, and a simple, “Good morning.” He said it like it was just another day at the job and time to go back to work. Unbelievable!
Only people who are secure and know who they are do something like this.
Some of the older translations say that Jesus said, “All hail,” which literally means “Good morning.” I don’t like all hail; it sounds like “Caesar” should come next. Sounds formal. I like, “Good morning.” Sounds like He’s saying, Yeah, it’s just another thing I do: kill devils and death and get people to heaven.
That is Jesus. “Good morning,” the ball flip, tells us a lot about Jesus. It tells us that when you are the real thing, you don’t have to tell people. It shows every time you cross the goal line.
If you are a praying man, a prophetic woman, a pastor, an evangelist, a godly person, or someone who hears from God, all you have to tell people is, “Good morning.” They will know. Jesus did not come out saying, “I am resurrected!” What happened and who He was spoke for itself. In the passage we see that after Jesus said, “Good morning,” the people surrounding Him worshiped Him. That’s all it took. That’s all that was needed. “Good morning,” and they worshiped.
When you have to tell people to respect you, honor you, clap for you, it means you are doing things that don’t call for that response. Jesus scored. Flipped the ball and simply said, “Good morning.” It’s enough.