Is Ben Simmons a Saviour? Some would say, he’s a saviour, of sorts. He has now become the No. 1 Pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he’s going to a team and a city that is in desperate need of saving.
The Greek work for Saviour is Soter, meaning deliverer. To deliver from danger and death is the purpose of intent and the supreme significance of Biblical salvation. To deliver means to rescue and to defend, both morally and physically, as opposed to being lost and destroyed. And to deliver and save is the herculean task of a Saviour. To save is to revive and retrieve and reawaken to life and health and wholeness.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in dire need of a Saviour. My Sixers are desperate for deliverance. And the City of Brotherly Love is in dreadful need of some real relief and release. And Ben Simmons may well be just what “The Dr.” ordered.
The last time the Sizers had the No. 1 pick was 20 years ago. Then, as it is hoped now, the No. 1 pick became a Saviour of sorts, and went on to become Philly’s favorite son: Allen Iverson. “AI” didn’t win an NBA championship, but he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996–97 season. Iverson was also the NBA MVP for the 2000-2001 season, and just this year he was voted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
So can this kid do it? Can Ben Simmons deliver? Only time will tell. For tonight, Draft Night, hope springs eternal. The city and the fans feel and sense that their redemption draweth nigh. Just like Moses arriving in Egypt to deliver the children of Israel from the clutches of Pharaoh, Jesus came and delivered all who believe in Him from the power of sin and shame.
Victory and triumph are feelings that are sewn into our circulatory system and are dyed into our DNA. The craving to be first and not last is seeded deep in our soul and is planted firmly in our spirit. And so the sports analogy of salvation for a franchise and a fan base long lost in losing is absolutely apropos.
As a Philly fan, I long for another glorious season of winning and ruling and dominating in ANY sport, so why not start with roundball? So, to the Philly faithful, sports salvation is here. And for everyone else, if you want to be saved, salvation is yours for the asking.