Wednesday, 4 July 2018

How the Beautiful Game helps us to understand the significance of the resurrection

So how exactly does football help us to understand the significance of Jesus’s resurrection?

It is a little like a football team that wins the Champions League and thus goes down in history as a great team, the best of the year. Until that point, it would be impossible to tell whether it was a truly great team – a team that loses the final is still the same team as it was all season, but it is the winning of the trophy that establishes that team as great and memorable. In the light of that victory the story of the season is retold as a story of triumph, of progress towards glory, rather than that of a team that strove for glory but failed to reach it. After its confirmation as the Champions, it is always looked back on as a great team, even in the retelling of the story of the season. In the same way, Jesus’ true glory, greatness and identity is revealed and established at the resurrection.

Graham Tomlin, The Widening Circle: Priesthood as God’s Way of Blessing the World (London: SPCK, 2014), pp. 164–165, n. 14

Change ‘the Champions League’ to ‘the World Cup’, ‘year’ and ‘season’ to ‘tournament’, and ‘Champions’ to ‘winners’, and you have a bloggable quotation that has profound contemporary relevance.

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