My Condolscences to Angels & Adenhart Family…Relevance of Easter

Posted: April 9, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Sports, Suffering

nick-adenhartI am a huge Angels fan, just ask anyone that knows me. I am a former season ticket holder and once covered the Angels as a primary blogger for the Most Valuable Network (link). This entry isn’t about me, but gives you some background into my interest into the sport of baseball and the Angels in particular. I was meeting with a friend for lunch today when he pulled out a card with Nick Adenhart’s name on it and told me that he was killed in a car accident. I was frozen…he just pitched last night, he is only 22, he is a huge part of the Angels future. Then I wondered if he was drunk or something, not that it would have minimized the tragedy, but there is always a fear that an athlete acted inappropriately. ESPN was on at the lunch joint I was at and it stated that it was a hit and run accident where the other party ran a red light and broadsided the vehicle carrying Adenhart. 2 others died along with Adenhart. The driver of the van apparently tried to flee the site on foot. Having heard this news, I was then full of some anger. Someone bolting through a red light kills 3 people. I hope this driver doesn’t have a spouse and kids because he/she is now going to jail for a long time and must live with the regret of this action. I pray that they would repent, but it isn’t in my jurisdiction to forgive him/her…only the Adenhart family can do that. Here is an article with some more info (MLB Release).

I am now sitting down and about to prepare a message for our Church’s Good Friday service tommorrow night and then prepare the Easter message for Sunday. The unfortunate event of Adenhart’s death reminds me that death is real…that Jesus’ death was real. Jesus’ death was both tragic and glorious. It is a stumbling block for many that a tragic death is the God-appointed means for our salvation. The story doesn’t end with his death…He arose. Easter is the hope of the ressurrection, that Jesus is the firstfruits and we ourselves will be ressurrected to God’s glory. Death is NOT the final say. 

While Newsweek is declaring that we are now a “post-Christian” nation (, and recent polling is showing that a growing majority of Americans are declaring religion irrelevant, the death of Adenhart shouts loud and clear to everyone that death is real and coming. There is one who conquered the grave for us. That is very relevant. I lament that many so-called pastors are standing before their thousands and turning the Gospel into a message of self-help. Their message to Nick Adenhart is to live in God’s blessing…to enjoy his wealth…to fulfill his destiny…to be all that he can be. This event reminds us that God speaks to more than our earthly success, but rather to our suffering, our death, and the glorious hope of the resurrection. If Christ isn’t risen, then we are to be pitied….the Gospel isn’t about just this earthly life, it is about the grave and resurrection…It isn’t merely about eating, drinking, and being merry…it is about so much more!!!

Anyhow, I don’t know what Adenhart believed or hoped in, but it is my prayer that his death would awaken our souls to consider the meaning of life beyond such tragedy and suffering. Adenhart pitched 6 scoreless innings last night, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? Many follow sports as an escape from life, its tragedy, its pain…we cheer, we jeer…we shout with joy, we mourn a loss…and then death shows its ugly face and crashes the party. The good news is that Jesus will conquer death and usher in a more glorious party. Death, as an enemy, will ultimately be destroyed. That is what Good Friday and Easter are about. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God for our salvation.

  1. knownoflove says:

    Hi Rick,
    Thank you for this post! As a Christian and fellow baseball fan, I for one appreciate the way you have taken this tragic situation and given your readers a place to hope through Jesus Christ.
    It is my prayer that many will be blessed and drawn to or closer to God and His Saving Grace through this. It is sad that it can take such a tragedy to wake people up spiritually.
    Thanks again, and have a blessed Easter weekend!

    In Christ, Miranda

  2. Great post, Rick. It is a sobering reminder of the the one common destiny of us all (death, unless Christ returns first) when we hear of such a young person die. I saw a piece on NBC’s nightly news tonight about how humble this young man was and can only hope that his hope was in Christ alone.

    “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
    “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”
    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

    John Donne- Holy Sonnet X (aka “Death be not proud”)

    DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, 5
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, 10
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

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