Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle


I started playing football almost as soon as I could run. I remember playing football at the age of five. I began playing organized football when I was eleven. I played for two legendary coaches in Atlanta’s youth league – Charles Rambo and Melvin Douglas Sr. One of the things they taught us was to play beyond the whistle. They wanted us to finish the play every time. We commonly hear that termed as Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle. It simply means that the play isn’t really over at the start of the whistle. It is over when you fail to hear the remotest sound of the whistle – the echo if you will. In life, there are moments that come and go, but where do they really end. In the matter of faith in Christ, we get a real-life example. In the post The Paradox of Three Ladies Named Mary, we see three women who by name were supposed to be rebellious, but in practice, they were devoted followers of Jesus down to the end. They were there at the cross when He was crucified, died and was buried. For us, that is the end. That is the blowing of the whistle. Play over. For Christ and His followers, that is not true. Of the three ladies named Mary, we see them personify Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle to a whole new level.

Mark 16

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Mark 16 picks up after Jesus had been buried in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Council. Jesus was buried on Friday. As you know, Saturday was the Sabbath for Jews. According to Jewish law, no work was to be done on the Sabbath. Consequently, the text tells us “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.” This is the example to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle at a whole new level.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, demonstrated what it means to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle in a spiritual or faith sense. While it is clear from the stated purpose of going to the tomb, Mary and Mary did not expect to find Jesus alive. They remained faithful for caring for Him even in His presumed death and burial. They went to anoint Jesus’ body as an act of honor and worship. They wanted to perfume His body.

When we Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle spiritually, it means that we forge forward in our devotion of God even when the results do not turn out as we expected. None of the followers of Jesus expected Him to die nor to rise again despite Him telling them so. Often, our faith requires us reflect or recollect something that God has told us. Just as my coaches did not expect us to give up on the play, God does not expect us to give up on Him even when it looks like we should. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, demonstrated what it means to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle. 

Furthermore, they, the disciples and we are blessed because they continued to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle. They saw God’s power and faithfulness in the empty tomb. God’s angel communicated to them that though that play was over the Jesus had more plays in Him. He was not in the tomb. He had risen. Jesus is the object of our faith and salvation. For it is in Christ that we learn the true meaning of to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle. 

13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15

I am not sure what seems over in your life, but God is inviting you today to Play Beyond the Echo of the Whistle. 

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