Nothing to Lose
When I was growing up my Father taught me the benefit of the underdog. The underdog is a name given to a person or team not favored to win. The odds are stacked against them. It was my Dad who explained to me, that the underdog has nothing to lose, because they are already expected to lose. People are betting against a loss. Perhaps we have experienced this phenomenon first hand, or maybe by following the world of sports, but at times the underdog comes up from underneath all odds and beats the giant (David and Goliath, Egypt and the Israelites, Average Joes vs. The Purple Cobras, Scotland vs. Britain, Civil Rights Movement and The Tyrannical Powers of Control, and the list goes on).
The greatest underdog moment has to be Jesus on the cross. Most of his friends have abandoned him for fear of their own life. His own people put him on the cross to die a criminal’s death. The Romans can’t help but take the opportunity to mock him with a crown of thorns and a sign of the charge against him saying, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” In the moments of his greatest agony Jesus knows there is nothing to lose, only to gain. He understood his life not his own, but given by the Father. It is with this great love and humility, that God saves the world. He saves it not by sending legions of angels to defeat the powers that crucify him, but rather by dying for the very ones who spit in his face.
On the cross as seems to be lost. The earth shakes as the sun recedes from its place in the sky giving way to utter darkness. All hope is lost. Man is in his darkest hour. There is no time when God’s presence was further from the face of the earth. And yet somehow, when all seems lost, when the odds are stacked against the kingdom of God, when the evil powers of the world celebrate in victory, Jesus rises again in all glory and power. The fat lady did not sing, the buzzer did not buzz, and there was still time on the clock. What a come from behind victory!
Paul says to the Philippians and to us now, “8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
There is nothing for us to lose because it is not ours to gain in the first place. The only thing I can claim is Christ! So I can go into everyday life, knowing deep down, that things may be taken from me, possessions, jobs, reputation, relationships, and yet there is still nothing to lose and nothing to fear. There is nothing to lose because my victory is in Christ. So why not follow Jesus when there is nothing to lose, only to gain a life with God himself. He is on our side, even when it seems he is not. Let us remember we are underdogs with Christ.