Several years ago I was driving and listening to my usual, sports talk radio. Two hosts were talking back and forth about sports when the topic came up about building the time machine. The question was asked, “If you could build a time machine, what sports event would you go to?” They began to list sports moments. One said, “I would go to see Secretariat’s famous run, and I would go to be there for the Gibson home run in the ’88 World Series.” The other host began to list his dream list. He talked about watching Satchel Page and Josh Gibson. He also wanted to see Jim Brown run in football. They both started talking about the Ice Bowl. Of course, I have my own lists on this as well. If I were to choose I would want to go to see some vintage Dallas Cowboys, maybe the Hail Mary game. And I wouldn’t mind being able to be at one of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters. And of course, it would be great to see James Street and the Texas Longhorns beat Joe Theisman’s Notre Dame team to win the national title in the 1970 Cotton Bowl.
As the announcers were talking, one of them had a moment of clarity. He said, “But in reality, if we were going to have access to a time machine, why would we be going to a sports event? We would really want to go to something more important.” They then started quickly mentioning things like the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Their tone was light and frivolous. Then one threw out the statement as a joke, “Or, I would just send my time machine back to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ! Because if the things happened that they claimed happened that would mean Jesus really WAS who everybody said he was and that would change everything.” There was a slight pause as the other host said, “Yeah. Yeah it would.” Then there was a pregnant pause on the radio.
Today is Good Friday, when Christians reflect upon the death and burial of Jesus Christ. I encourage you today to read Matthew 27. If the words recorded by ancient Christians and eyewitnesses are accurate, this cross of Jesus Christ changes everything.
It changes our understanding of suffering, our ability to forgive, and the problems of pain. It changes our ability to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. It changes our definitions of success. It changes our perspective on death and what lies beyond. If the Cross really happened the way Scripture claims it happened, everything changes.
I don’t have a time machine, but I can tell you that the Cross has changed everything in my life.
How have the events of Good Friday changed you?