Championships are won at high price and heavy cost. Championships are earned by those who are willing to endure great sacrifice. Championships are claimed after the fulfillment of a number of prerequisites. The road to the championship begins long before the first game of the season, and starts with desire and determination.
A championship is a series of competitions or contests to determine a champion. In order to be a champion, you must first be victorious, and then you can graduate to triumphant. Victors win, champions triumph. Athletically speaking, many can win, but only a few can triumph.
Championships are not doled out like cheap cotton candy at the state fair, or oversized lollipops at a dime store or the little lollipops showered on children when their parents take them to the bank. Championships are rationed out every year to the best teams and players in a sport.
Championships are won by champions. A champion has defeated all opponents and holds first place. A champion is a warrior and a fighter. A champion is an advocate and a support.
Jesus is our champion. Without Him we don’t even make the cut; but with Him, we run our enemies out-of-town. Without Him, we are dismayed and greatly afraid; but with Him, we give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines to the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the field. Without Him, we are chased from Ai; but with Him, we march around the city in silent praise, until it’s time to shout to God with the voice of triumph. Not the voice of victory, but the voice of triumph.
A triumph is a significant success or noteworthy achievement. A triumph is a decisive victory. A triumph is also the joy of our success. Theologically speaking, Paul said that God “always causes us to triumph in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:14) God always gives us, not just success, but significant success and the joy that comes with it. We praise God who defeated all of our opponents for us.
Our voices are our principal instruments of communication. Our looks also communicate, along with hand gestures and body language. But the voice speaks our heart, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). On the cross, Jesus cried out with a loud voice because He knew he devil was defeated. He knew that His death was not a defeat, but a triumph. Jesus knew He had to die in order for us to live. Since we are crucified with Him, buried with Him, and resurrected with Him, we always triumph in Him. We rejoice greatly, because our King has come to bring salvation (Zechariah 9:9). We rejoice greatly because the devil is defeated and Christ is exalted.
Kobe Bryant said “in order to be the best, you must beat the best.” You not only beat the rest, you beat the best. You not only beat lesser teams, sometimes you beat teams with better talent, deeper rosters and higher salaries. On paper, Elijah was the underdog. The odds makers and prognosticators had David as a long shot to defeat Goliath, and the experts said that Gideon’s band of 300 didn’t stand a chance against the heavily favored Midianites. Yet and still, all triumphed.
The pregame crew had the prophets of Baal winning by a landslide. Elijah was outmanned, outnumbered and seemingly outmatched. But he challenged the best priests of Baal and Ashtoreth to a showdown on Mount Carmel, where the opposition won the coin toss, had the opportunity to score first and capture the momentum. But Elijah was not only victorious, he was triumphant. He destroyed his enemies. He ground them to powder. There would be no rematch.
David did the same. He challenged the giant Goliath when no one else, including King Saul, had the courage to do so. David won a decisive victory for the Lord of Hosts, which turned into the greatest triumph until Calvary. Because of his act of faith, Israel won in a rout. The champion of the Philistine army was no match for the champion of the universe. Goliath may have come out with pomp and circumstance in 1 Samuel Chapter 17 verse 4, but by verse 51, he was dead meat. The bigger they come, the harder they fall!
1 Samuel 17:4
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
1 Samuel 17:51
Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took has sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
Accept Jesus as your champion. He won the championship for us. Jesus wants to hold first place in our hearts as He
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:15)
In Roman history, a triumph was a ceremonial entrance into Rome of a victorious commander with his army, spoils of war, and captives, authorized by the senate in honor of an important military or naval victory. This is what Paul describes to the Colossians. Jesus’ triumph was a significant success, and a noteworthy achievement. Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave, along with the world, the flesh and the devil to boot.
Jesus purchased our salvation with his own blood. We are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). He thus fulfilled the criterion that dictates that championships are won at high price and heavy cost. Because championships are earned by those who are willing to endure great sacrifice, Jesus offered the sacrifice of himself when he died on the tree. And because championships come after the fulfillment of a long list of prerequisites, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning Himself in order to fulfill all the law and the prophets.
Thanks be to God, for sending Jesus, our Champion. Because of Him, the triumphant walk by faith, and not by sight. The triumphant don’t fear or fret. The triumphant don’t make excuses for their God. They know that what He has promised, He is able also to perform. He has promised us not only the victory, but triumph!