Thursday, April 01, 2010
What Does Hitting a Fastball Have To Do With Easter?
"Yale physicist Robert Adair has been studying the art of hitting Major League fastballs. Scientifically, it's impossible. A batter facing a 90 mph fastball has less than a quarter of a second to see the pitch, judge its speed and location, decide what to do and start to swing. To get a hit, the bat must meet the ball within one-eighth of an inch of dead center and at precisely the right millisecond as the 3-inch spinning sphere whizzes by. This is a superhuman feat that is "clearly impossible," Adair said.
Whipping out his calculators and computers, Adair noted when a pitcher throws a 90 mph fastball, it takes only 400 milliseconds-that's less than a half-second for those of us non-scientifically minded-for the ball to reach the plate. Considering the time it takes for the batter's brain to send signals to swing, the chances that he can actually hit the ball are extremely small, Adair said. Physics proves it, he said."
So, there you have it! It's scientifically impossible to hit a fastball. The only problem with this great scientific research is that I have actually witnessed someone hitting a fastball—and not just one person, but many people. I've seen fastballs hit in batting practice and I've seen fastballs hit in the most pressure packed situations imaginable. So while the physics research is there to prove that a fastball cannot be hit I have personal, eyewitness information that proves otherwise.
What does this all mean? On Sunday we are going to celebrate the single greatest event in the history of the world—the resurrection of Jesus Christ! All the empirical research points to this simple fact: a dead person does not become alive again…especially after being dead for three days. Even our own understanding of life and death, (killing bugs, having pets die and going to funerals) points to the simple fact that something dead doesn't revive and live again. Yet as Christians that is what we believe with all of our hearts—why? We believe in the resurrection of Jesus because it connects with us at a very deep and personal level. You see, the resurrection isn't just about science and facts (Even though the facts and evidence for the resurrection are incredibly powerful!). The resurrection is very, very personal.
Just ask Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples. Thomas didn't want to know the science behind the resurrection, he just wanted to see Jesus after his death. When he did, it changed everything for him. So much so that he gave his own life for the cause of Christ. Why? He gave his life because the resurrection was personal. What about Mary and James, Jesus' mother and brother. Before Jesus was crucified and resurrected, neither Mary nor James understood what Jesus was up to. In fact, James made fun of Jesus. After the resurrection, both Mary and James worship Jesus as Lord. Why? They worship Jesus because the resurrection was personal.
The list goes on and on and on. When it comes to the resurrection we find that our most personal questions and longings are answered. On Easter Sunday that will be the focus of the message I want to share with you and any of the guests you bring. I want everyone to walk out the doors after the service knowing that the resurrection is very deep, meaningful and personal.