Editor’s note: Many Major League baseball teams are pouring into training camp right now. We thought you’d enjoy this reprise of Tim Wisemann’s popular baseball devotion!
I’m a big fan of baseball (especially the world champion St. Louis Cardinals)! Spring Training is underway and a new season will soon be upon us. Using baseball terms, I’ve adapted some devotional thoughts as we journey to the cross and tomb this spring, reminded that a new season of life comes with Jesus’ death and resurrection. I hope you find the material a blessing in your own faith walk or useful in a devotional setting.
Single—Jesus predicts his death.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:23–24 (emphasis added)
Double— Jesus is crucified with two others, one who would reject him and one who would accept him as Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Matthew 27:38
Triple—Three days after Jesus’ death, he would rise. He is our living Savior.
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. Mark 8:31
Walk—Jesus walked to his own death on the cross. His walk encourages us as we follow in his steps.
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). John 19:17
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2–3
Steal—The leaders feared Jesus’ followers would steal his body from the grave. Rather, Jesus stole our hearts and stole us from Satan’s grip by rising from the dead for our salvation. As we look toward home plate—heaven—we know we have an abundant, forgiven, and eternal life through him.
[The chief priests and the Pharisees urged Pilate,] “So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” Matthew 27:64
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Home Run—Jesus made our run toward our heavenly home possible by his grace, through faith, and he is the only way home!
[Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1–6
Victory Celebration—Victory over sin and death is ours through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54–57
Sacrifice—He sacrificed his life for our salvation. His sacrifice was motivated by love.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9–11
The Bible points us to the sacrifice and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, for our sins and salvation. Because of his sacrifice, we can live victoriously, knowing he went to bat for us, making sure we’d be safe at home!