Today is Easter, the day that our Lord and Savior rose from the grave. So, this is a perfect time to talk to you about baseball. I was reading about Babe Ruth the other day, and I got drawn into the story of his famous “called shot.” It was October in 1932, and the Yankees and Chicago Cubs were playing game 3 of the World Series. Supposedly, there was a lot of trash-talking between the two teams, with a lot of the Cubs players calling Babe Ruth grandpops. After all, he was the ripe old age of 37 at the time. Lol!
Ruth had already hit a home run earlier in the game, and when he came to bat again, the noise was deafening. The stands and the dugouts were all screaming, and they only got louder with each pitch. Babe now had two strikes against him, and the crowd was wanting a strike-out, but Babe points to the center fence instead. With the next pitch, Babe Ruth sent the ball flying over the center fence, the longest part of the ballpark, and a legend was created.
Babe Ruth got lucky with his prediction. Jesus, on the other hand, knew all. He knew what was coming and how everything was going to happen. He knew of his betrayal, He knew that those who loved Him the most would deny Him, and He knew of the agony that He would endure on the cross.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ”He who shared my bread has turned against me.” 19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
I know that a lot of us have been betrayed by someone that we loved. Any type of betrayal is upsetting, but when it comes from someone who we love, someone that we share our secrets with, someone that we eat with, someone that we trust, then the pain can be heartbreaking. Jesus had hand-picked every man around the table to follow him, and He saw something good in each of them. But, He also knew that one of them was going to betray him, and that knowledge had to be painful. Was it pride, jealousy, or greed that caused Judas to betray Jesus?
Jesus Predicts His Death and His Ressurection
Jesus knew what was coming in his future and that He must start preparing His disciples. He predicted His death three times.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
Babe Ruth’s prediction is not a written-in-stone type of fact. Some people think that he was pointing to the crowds or the dugouts and showing 2 fingers that represent the 2 strikes that he had. Historians say that Babe Ruth was not a showboat, so a prediction of that type was not in character with his normal actions. Despite the legend, there’s a good chance he didn’t predict what would happen next. He certainly wasn’t sure of it.
Jesus, however, knew His destiny. He gave His life for us. In John10:15, He said that He would lay down His life for the sheep, and we are the sheep. He knew the agony that lay before Him, and He willingly went to the cross to die for our sins. But, since He had no sin, He needed to rise to say that sin had no hold over Him.
Today, I celebrate that my Lord lives and that the grave could not contain Him. I will enjoy a nice dinner with my family, and I will remember the ONE who sacrificed if all for a sinner like me.
Have A Blessed Day!