Your daily Olympic devotional
A snippet from a new sports devotional, The Spirit of Victory. Available through your favourite bookstore.
The greatest Olympic victory - 1 Corinthians Chapter 15
Nike is one of the biggest sporting companies in the world, however the name comes from the ancient Greek god of victory. Today, we watch the start of the greatest sporting event in the world with each athlete looking for that “nike” victory.
Nike is mentioned in the original Greek text of 1 Corinthians Chapter 15. Paul talks about Jesus winning nike (“victory”) over sin and death. The word “sin” actually has a sporting origin. An archer takes aim at the target but their arrow falls short. In the same way, sin is defined as falling short of God’s perfect standard (Romans chapter 3 verse 21). Death is described in the Bible as both physical death as well as a spiritual death. However, Paul explains that, thanks to Jesus, we are gifted Jesus’ own victory. His victory means we, as part of Jesus’ team, share in this victory.
Have a look at the Nike symbol on any Nike top. Notice it is always over the left chest. This is just the general branding strategy. Now compare this with the symbol on an Olympic athlete’s clothing. Athletes representing their countries requested their national symbol to be over their heart (left side). It is a symbolic gesture that the most important thing over their heart is their country.
It is the same for a Christian. Our own achievements pale into insignificance when compared with Jesus’ victory. We need to place Jesus’ victory symbolically over our hearts above our own victories. Ironically, our achievements only find their true richness and significance when seen in the shadow of Jesus’ victory. Therefore, Paul says, “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” Lay your own victories down and place Jesus’ victory as the most important thing in your life.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html