The Gospel According to Jackie Robinson

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“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” – Revelation 7:9

This past week I had the chance to watch the new movie “42” based on a true story of Jackie Robinson. If you have not watched that movie, I highly recommend that you do so. 

It was racism at its worst. It was people who thought they were better, but really weren’t. But, in this blog, my point is to show you what the Lord has shown me about Himself through the life of Jackie Robinson. 

At the beginning of Jackie’s life, he always faced adversity. Everywhere he went, he had something or someone always against him. Just because of his color, he wasn’t allowed to stay in the same hotel as his teammates…or his order wasn’t taken at restaurants because he was considered an outcast. But what he himself didn’t know was that he would change the game of baseball forever. 

Our big adversity is no match for our big God

Being recruited first by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, with teammates of the opposite race, forced him into uncomfortable situations, but I believe everywhere Jackie Robinson went, he always had little boys come up to him saying things like, “You’ve given me hope!” or “Thank you for what you are doing!” And with all of the negativity that was being thrown at him and his family, he knew his purpose. He knew that one day the game of baseball, and the game of life in general, would be different. He saw an opportunity for change and took it. Just like our Savior Jesus Christ, there was a cross that was calling His name and when Jesus stepped onto that cross, the devil thought he had won, but lo and behold, Jesus would soon be raised from the dead and take the keys of hell and defeat the grave! Praise the Lord! 

God rewards faithfulness

What I liked so much about this movie is that it portrayed Jackie Robinson as he was. Hollywood, most of the time, likes to add a little twist to the story somehow to grab the viewers attention. Just going to be honest, in today’s movies, if there are sex, drugs, and rock n roll, people will buy the movie, but to Jackie Robinson, faithfulness was important. Faithfulness to his wife, to his God, to his teammates, and to himself. When told he was going to be signed to a professional baseball team, Jackie told the manager, “If you get me a number, I’ll give you my guts. It took more than we can ever imagine for Jackie Robinson to not fight back. Being angry his life was his father never being a part of his life, Jackie Robinson’s biggest battle on the field were the fans that were against him, yet, he knew what he had to do.

Leave a legacy with your life

You have the power today to leave a legacy wherever you are. Romans 5:18-19 says, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” 

Did you know that in July of every baseball season, baseball teams all around the world wear the number “42” in honor of Jackie Robinson? And did you also know that there isn’t a single baseball team that has the number “42” on it? The number 42 is the only retired number on every team in the major leagues. I would call that a legacy, wouldn’t you?

What he did was something that no man wanted to go up against. He had every odd betting against him, yet, he knew his purpose! Jesus went to the cross of Calvary and took every pain and guilt that you would ever have to endure, because He loves you. Jesus made a way when there seemed to be no way. 

I think one of the things that made Jesus so great was the fact He knew that what He had, no devil in hell could take away. Paul said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21) meaning if I live through what I’m about to go through, then I am only going to proclaim Jesus that much more…and if I die, then I’m going on home to glory! Jesus was and still is the only Way! 

You can be encouraged today that no matter what you are going through in life, you have a God who is for your adversities! What do you mean, Stewart? I mean, that God is in the business of showing Himself off to you! Have an impossible situation in your way? Do as Joshua told the Israelites after Moses’ death while their enemies were coming against them in every direction: stand still, worship God, and watch God move! (Book of Joshua). Even when times seem hard, tell your own soul as King David did that you WILL bless the Lord at all times! We’ve got to have an I-WILL praise about us! I WILL bless the Lord no matter what my circumstance is! Be encouraged today. Your God is for you!

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