Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Final Three Count?!?!?

The Ultimate Warrior Lives!

If you are an 80’s baby or a 90’s kid, you have a genuine appreciation for The World Wrestling Federation also known as the WWF. As a kid, I remember intense Saturday morning wrestling matches with my younger brother. We would leap from couches, pin the other down, and attempt to kick out before the other counted to three. Winded and often bruised from our battles, we kept going until somebody cried or we gave up. We eagerly anticipated every WWF wrestling match, cartoon show, or after school special. The WWF touted larger than life characters. The wrestlers carried 2x4’s, hefty dog chains, and even rip away t-shirts to maintain an image. They also inspired kids to make good decisions, stand up for themselves, and use their imagination. I had several favorite wrestlers – The Junk Yard Dog, Andre the Giant, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and of course - The Ultimate Warrior. I used to take shoestrings from my Chuck Taylor All-Stars and tie them around my skinny arms. Wanting to be The Ultimate Warrior, I mimicked all of his moves while running around our house.

Recently, a heart attack gave The Ultimate Warrior his final three-count. It was a big weekend for him. He patiently took pictures with his fans, laughed, smiled and enjoyed his triumphant entry back to his place of prestige. Not only was it Wrestlemania XXX but also the induction ceremony for The Ultimate Warrior into the Hall of Fame. Three days later he died.

John 20:1 New Living Translation (NLT)
20 Early on Sunday morning,[a] while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

Revelation 1:18 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

Leading to the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I am reminded about another Ultimate Warrior.  After fasting for forty days and nights, Jesus fought temptation in the wilderness. Throughout the three years of His earthly ministry, Jesus contended to teach salvation, love and grace. The bible says that Palm Sunday, five days before Good Friday, people celebrated Jesus as he entered the city on the back of a donkey. Cheers filled the air as clothing and palms lined the streets beneath the hooves of the donkey. Later that same week, Jesus was tried, convicted, beaten and hung on a cross. His heart was attacked as He experienced some of the same people, who once cheered with support, emitting jeers in opposition of him. Even as Jesus’ accusers gambled for his clothes, He fought for them with a simple and profound statement, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Jesus, whose hands healed the sick, was holding the nails attached to the cross. Knowing that He had the power to get off the cross, He stayed there and died as a sacrifice for present and future sins. But that’s not how the story ends.

This ultimate warrior was buried in the grave, heard His three count, and got up! He even left his clothes in the tomb. As much I enjoyed and emulated the human ultimate warrior of the WWF – I am so glad that I serve and consistently believe in a savior and soldier who continuously fights for me. I will always be a fan of Wrestling. The memories of James Brian Hellwig, The Ultimate Warrior and professional wrestler, will keep his legacy alive. Jesus is my Ultimate Warrior, and after the three count He was given – Jesus GOT UP and STILL LIVES TODAY!