Last Thursday morning, NBA fans woke up to the shocking news that Phoenix Sun point guard and longtime Laker tormenter Steve Nash had switched sides—having requested and secured a trade to the Los Angeles team known as “Showtime.” Nash himself had long maintained that if he ever left the Suns it would not be to wear the purple and gold of the Lakers. Now that is exactly what he’ll be doing as he dishes the ball to his former rivals Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Whether this is viewed as the ultimate in sports treason or someone finally seeing the light will largely depend on which fan base (Phoenix or LA) is making the value judgment.
There is no such ambiguity, however, when someone comes to Christ. This too, in a sense, involves switching sides, but in a much more eternally profound way. As the apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Colosse:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13 ESV).
Switching sides, indeed. To be rescued from darkness and brought into the kingdom of eternal light speaks of the ultimate switch. This switch, however, is not a matter of changing jerseys or swapping arenas. It is the fundamental transformation of a heart for which Christ died. It is not only a change of eternal destiny, but of the basic condition of the heart here and now:
- From judgment to redemption
- From darkness to light
- From loss to gain
- From despair to hope
That is what Paul wanted us to see as the great change produced by the cross and resurrection of Christ, for that is what it means to come to the Savior and experience His rescue.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain