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The Opening Pitch

As baseball’s Spring Training season is winding down this year, opening day is quickly approaching.  The 2018 Major League Baseball Season will open in a more traditional manner.  On Thursday, March 29th, all 30 teams will begin play on the same day.  This is the first time this has occurred since 1968.  One of the pre game festivities for baseball is the ceremonial first pitch.  Teams will invite celebrities, former players or popular people from the area to throw out the opening pitch as cameras recount this special moment.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make in it rooms (stalls, pens, coops, nests, cages, compartments) and coat it inside and out with pitch (bitumen), Genesis 6:14.

The Bible refers to a different kind of pitch.  Hebrew uses 3 variations of this term. Viz refers to a mineral pitch, similar to modern day asphalt.  The King James Version of the Bible chooses figo: to fix and unite planks.  The final description of pitch in the context of the Bible refers to sealing.  After using gopher wood to built an ark, Noah used pitch as a coating to waterproof the exterior so that this boat would not leak once fully occupied by the animals and his family.  Without this opening pitch, the ark would have sunk.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed, 1 Peter 2:24.

Sometimes Greek and Hebrew words don’t always translate grammatically into English.  Thus, when you break down the structure of this term in a literal sense, pitch is symbolic of atonement.  After original sin separated Adam and Eve from God, the Lord devised a way for mankind to restored, reunited into fellowship with God.  In the passage above, Peter points to Jesus as the atoning sacrifice.  After denying Jesus publically, guilt haunted Peter, struggling to forgive himself for what he had done.  Yet, when Jesus suffered, died and rose again, this opening pitch by God started a whole new ball game, offering human beings a second chance, by grace through faith.  In view of this, make the most of the bats that the Lord provides for you in this life.

by Jay Mankus


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