The Gospel is for losers. That’s the whole point of this blog. It’s probably the only thing I have to write, actually. The gospel being for losers is good for 2 reasons: (1) We are all losers and (2) losing is the only way to be saved
Yes, I just called you a loser. Because you are. Don’t think so? It’s probably because you are comparing yourself to other people, those worse losers, on some sliding scale that eerily always seems to work out in your favor with you ending up on top. But we know any scale that always ends up the way you want it to is probably rigged for you to win. Meaning, then, that you aren’t a winner, but instead, (ta-da!) a loser. And the Bible, in its normal tradition of ruining the inflated thoughts you have of yourself, agrees with this statement. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And God’s glory is the standard by which we are judged. Meaning, we all lost. If you were born human, you were born at a deficit. In fact, you were born spiritually dead. Dead in your sins, far away from God, considered an enemy and at enmity with God. We all are born clear across a chasm so wide that no human effort, human ingenuity, or human desire could help us cross it. We are all born losers. And this would be the worst news in the world if not for the God-man, Jesus Christ, the only winner ever born on Earth. This God-man, in fact, is not only the only winner ever born (and the first-fruits of many other winners to come) but Jesus was a winner who lost for losers. Jesus Christ, perfect in every way, fully God and fully man, Son of God incarnate, took the biggest and most major “L” possible for the very people who earned this gigantic “L”, namely, you and me. And He took this loss and turned it into the most beautiful, the most glorious, the most loving and fierce win the earth will EVER know. Jesus Christ died the death of loser sinners and offered them, in exchange, His glorious win. Romans 5 shows us that Jesus gave us His righteousness in exchange for our sinfulness. Jesus essentially says “Here’s my W; let me take that L”. Notice that, though, we do not “win” this win. It is given to us. It is not earned, it is not warranted or deserved. For losers are, by definition, not deserving of a win. No, this life-saving, life-changing win is given to us, to those who believe that Jesus is the God-man, the Son of God, the only Way for salvation. The Winner (and Creator, Upholder, and Sustainer) of the Universe gave us losers a way to have a relationship with Him, the most coveted prize in the Universe.
So since Jesus died for losers, being a loser is the main requirement to receive salvation. And this theme of losing to win is straight from the mouth of Christ (sorry, Fantasia). In Mark 2 finds Jesus eating with what the Bible calls “tax collectors and sinners”. In fact, just a few verses above he calls a known tax collector to follow Him. The Pharisees enter into the scene and question who Jesus decides to keep company with. There is a stark difference in public opinion and personal perception among the people in this room. The Pharisees thought very highly of themselves and I’m sure the tax collectors and the sinners probably felt the opposite about themselves. But I’m guessing both parties were intrigued at the fact that Jesus was found in this space with the people present. After the Pharisees asks why Jesus would eat with such losers, Jesus utters what should be considered the loser anthem. In verse 17, Jesus tells the Pharisees “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners”. Meaning, Jesus didn’t come for people who say all they do is win, win, win no matter what (great song, though). No, He didn’t come for self-proclaimed winners. He came for those who knew they were losers. Not just societal and cultural losers, but losers at their core. Sinners. He came for those who knew they were dead and needed life. He came for those who knew they were far away from God because of decisions they had made yet wanted to be brought closer. He came for the broken, the hurt, the injured, the outcasted, the needy, the dead. He came for those who knew they needed someone to come for them. The problem with this message in our very American, winning is life, (#winning) mindset is that it is directly opposed to how the gospel says we should come. Salvation is for those who know they need to be saved and those who have faith that Jesus can and wants to do just that. Those who believe they can earn their salvation don’t think they need to be given it, and therefore miss it. But as stated earlier, compared to God, which is the only standard that matters and is eternal, we all fall short. And we all lose. But that is GREAT news! Because that means all of us are candidates for salvation. Jesus said the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Jesus’s messages were not simply cultural messages meant to help the “less than” feel better about themselves. Instead, He hung out with the “less than” to show all of us, rich and poor, young and old, male and female, that next to God we are ALL less than but that our being less than did not stop Him from finding us, rescuing us, and calling us to Himself. So it is only in Christ that we are more than conquerors. We go from losers dead in our sins to being called children, found, and His. In Christ, we overcome. In Christ, we conquer. In Christ, and only in Christ, we win.