Christ and the
Super Bowl 54 Halftime Show
What did it say about us?
What did it say about you?
What did it say about HIM?
Did you watch it? All the way through?
Was anybody else there in the room with you?
The reactions this week to this extravagant spectacle that took place Super Bowl Sunday are all over YouTube and social media—and in newspaper opinion pages across the land.
For sure, most agree that in its own way, the halftime show was remarkable no matter how you slice it. Explosive. Energetic. Dazzling. Talented. Creative. Featuring incredible, body-bending choreography. Exciting the crowds with blood-surging, Latin-Cuban music and rhythms. Yes, it was remarkable—and memorable—for sure.
But at the same time (noted by a myriad of thoughtful tweets and critiques), it also was . . .
Suggestive. Indecent. Sensuous. Lascivious. Pornographic. Portraying sexual bondage and exploitation. Objectifying women and their bodies. Like importing a “Gentlemen’s Club” from Times Square into the Miami stadium. It bore witness to a hundred million viewers around the globe, through a shameless, orgy-throbbing exhibition, how morally and spiritually deficient, even decadent, America is becoming.
So, did you watch it? All the way through?
Was anybody else in the room (or man cave or hotel lobby or sports bar) with you?
More specifically, during this family-friendly annual national viewing experience—the Super Bowl—were any children present? If so, did anyone think to whisk them out of the room immediately, once mom and dad saw what was unfolding?
Or did they, and we, linger?
Most challenging of all, ask yourself: Did CHRIST happen to be in the room with you?
Maybe you were at a congregational Super Bowl party? Maybe you and your family were gathered in front of your home’s TV, just as you had gathered earlier in the day to worship at church. Maybe you were streaming it on your computer in your dorm room. Maybe you were in the actual stadium surrounded by thousands of strangers.
Regardless, if you belong to Christ, this unavoidable truth confronts you: CHRIST was in that venue with you. HE was there watching it all with you. So, what do you suspect HE thinks about what you saw? Or about YOU as you saw it?
Scripture is abundantly clear that for every single Jesus follower viewing that Sunday evening’s provocative performance with J Lo and Shakira, as they danced and sang with a “cast of thousands,” another phenomenon was transpiring.
By the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ WAS there! THERE! There WITH you and with me. The Bible is clear about this concerning every believer:
I am crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2, emphasis added)
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you … the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (Romans 8, emphasis added)
Christ is among you, the hope of all the glorious things to come. (Colossians 1, emphasis added)
So then, back to the last question: How did CHRIST react to what was happening on the lighted stage, played out before our very eyes? How did HE feel about our staying put, taking in the whole show—even after we realized it was completely incompatible with his kingdom ways?
Three Answers to the Question
1. About the children we allowed to sit with us and take in the entire show, he warns us:
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin—it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18)
Any regrets? If so, what will you do about it now? What will you say to your children?
2. To us as his followers, who stayed and took it in, who allowed ourselves to be entertained by the entire show, here is Jesus’ strong exhortation:
No longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds … they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!
Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds … Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints … Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person … has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God … It is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 4, emphasis added)
Now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true). Learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall give you light.”
(Ephesians 5, emphasis added)
We need to wake up! We need to gaze once more at the purity and glory of the reigning Christ.
We need to stop grieving him by the compromises we practice. Pleasing him should become our greatest pleasure.
We must regain our footing so as to walk in fellowship with him, in all godliness and holiness and love. But first, it’s time to sit once more at his feet and let him teach us more and more about the wonders of who he is today.
3. Finally, to all of us who last Sunday evening in any sense “participated in their works of darkness,” even if more passively than actively, he calls us to come to him and get cleaned up. We are invited to do so like this:
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth. But if we walk in the light, as Christ is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin … If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just. He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1, emphasis added)
If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the purification for our sins—and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2, emphasis added)
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot … You don’t know how you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me … white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen … If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him … I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3, emphasis added)
OK, then, the next time something like this moral “ambush” happens, what will you do? What’s your plan of escape?
Practically speaking, every day from now on, how will you react effectively to the lures of ungodly lusts coming at you from all sides—whether on TV, at the movies, in magazines, online, or out in the public square? Bottom line: How will you make your relationship to Jesus, the King of Glory, become the answer?
The fact is, knowing and growing every day in the realities of the supremacy of Christ is the only strategy that can deliver you from every siren of seduction and bring you into the glories of the “heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2)—where Scripture says you are already seated, victorious, and reigning with him.
So, don’t wait. Get your game face on. Be ready for action the way Peter urges us here:
Therefore, gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct. (1 Peter 1, emphasis added)
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.
If you enjoyed this blog post, forward it to friends!
|Invite them to sign up for future blog posts here. It’s free!|