This past Monday, February 22, was the 30th Anniversary of, perhaps, the greatest moment in all of American sports history. On February 22, 1980, the United States hockey team beat the Soviet Union and went on to win the Olympic gold medal in ice hockey. In case you just returned from the moon, it was an incredible event that's come to be known as "The Miracle on Ice." I was only a little more than a year old at the time, but it's still one of my favorite stories. I've seen a replay of the game several times, I've read and watched several interviews of players on that USA team, and my favorite movie is "Miracle" – the story of that Olympic team. In fact, I will still watch the game or any interview relating to that team or whole story.
The American team was made up of all college/amateur players and hadn’t won an Olympic gold medal in ice hockey since 1960. The Soviets were heavy favorites, winning every gold medal but one since 1956. You also had all the politics of the Cold War surfacing. It's a story for the ages – it won't just live on through the years but through the decades (as it already has). And one has to wonder –
§ What does it take for something to be told and retold, like this, through the decades?
§ What is it about an event that would cause one to reflect on where they were and what they were doing when the event took place?
§ What would cause a person, who wasn’t alive at the time, to think about what it would’ve been like to be alive during such a spectacular event?
There are a lot of things that could answer these questions – but the real mark is the impact of the event. How many lives have been touched, even changed, by what has taken place? How long will the results of the event live on, not just in conversation, but in the hearts of people from generation to generation? That being said, doesn’t every other event in the history of the world pale in comparison to the cross? The cross of Jesus Christ is the most explosive event in human history – and the most critical issue in any one person's life. Jesus' life, death, and resurrection have not just changed people – He has changed cultures. Jesus doesn’t just touch hearts for a time – he saves souls for eternity.
The gospel was top priority for Paul. Sure, there were other thing he talked about – but the gospel was the atmosphere in which everything else survived. That passion is implied all throughout his writing but He actually told the believers in Corinth – (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
God's love, shown to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, is so compelling that it demands we share it. And I don’t mean it demands like "out of duty" – but that the natural result will be that we share it. That we will have this, "You won't believe what just happened…" expression as we share the soul-saving truth about Jesus Christ and the events of the gospel.
Make no mistake – our redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ is the miracle of miracles.