Rio, The Olympics and The Inescapable Christ
The host city for the 2016 Olympic Games is Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. It is a large city with a population in excess of 6 million. Standing over the city is the statue ‘Christ the Redeemer’. Ninety-eight feet high and weighing 635 tonnes, the statue was completed in 1931. In July 2007, the statue was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Those who visit the city cannot avoid it. You can see the statue from anywhere in the city. It is inescapable. As with the statue, so with Christ Himself – but to an even greater extent. Shortly before Christ was crucified, Pilate asked “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” The same question faces each one of us. Will we receive Him or reject Him? The response we make determines our eternal destiny. High gloss gospel leaflet attractively designed for evangelical outreach. Sold in packs of 100.
Rio, The Olympics and The Inescapable Christ The host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. It is an ancient city, tracing its history back to 1565. It is a large city, with a population well in excess of 6 million. To the south and east of the city lies the Atlantic Ocean – and within the city itself is the Tijuca Forest Park. The Park extends to 32 km2 and incorporates the Corcovado Mountain. Situated on the top of this Mountain is the statue: ‘O Cristo Redentor’ or ‘Christ the Redeemer’.
Ninety-eight feet high and weighing 635 tonnes, the statue was completed in 1931. In July 2007, the statue was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Each year, thousands of tourists climb the Mountain to visit the statue, but it is said that you can see it from anywhere in the city. It makes its presence felt, as it towers over the whole area. In that sense, even for those who do not go near it, the statue is inescapable, unavoidable.
Those who live in the city, those who will visit the city in connection with the Olympics and the millions around the world who will watch events from their homes will frequently have their attention drawn to it.
As with the statue, so with Christ Himself – but to an even greater extent. He is the inescapable, unavoidable Christ.
Our calendar is a daily reminder of His existence. This is 2016 A.D. – in the year of our Lord.
At particular points throughout the year, we are reminded of His importance. At Christmas, we celebrate His birth. At Easter, we commemorate His death.
Centuries may have passed since He lived on the earth, but still His name is mentioned, still His story is told, still His words are repeated, still His works are recounted, still His claims are presented. He continues to be the subject of countless books and paintings and pieces of music. He is constantly being brought to our attention - even in the blasphemy of His name.
Gone, but not forgotten? No! It is more wonderful than that. Once dead, but now alive for evermore.
He is Christ the Redeemer. ‘To redeem’ is to pay a price to secure release – and in His death on the Cross, Jesus paid the price for sin. The statue shows Him standing, with arms extended wide – and the message of the Bible is that He, as the Risen Christ, invites anyone and everyone to come to Him for salvation, for satisfaction, for forgiveness, for fulfilment, for relief, for rest, for blessing now and for blessing forever.
Shortly before Christ’s crucifixion, Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, asked a question: “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22). Pilate himself sought by various means not to give his own answer, but circumstances proved that the question could not be evaded. Christ could not be avoided. When eventually Pilate gave his answer, he gave the wrong answer. He made a wretched choice. He rejected the Lord Jesus – and suffered for so doing.
All these years later, the same question comes to each of us. He is the Christ with whom we have to do! He knows us intimately. He loves us dearly. He desires to bless us richly.
Will we reject Christ – or receive Him? Crucify Him afresh – or crown Him as Lord of our life? Continue to live without Him – or invite Him into our lives?
The day will come when, without exception, every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess Him as Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). On that solemn day, the Lord Jesus will be the Judge, but in our present day, He can become our Redeemer. Will we repent of our sins, believe that He died on the Cross for us and place our trust, faith, dependence in Him?