On Sunday, March 16, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia got the attention of baseball fans by preaching "The Pinch Hitter of Righteousness."
She began by explaining to the congregation what a pinch hitter is. In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is not in active play. The manager may use any player who has not yet entered the game as a substitute. The pinch hitter assumes the spot in the batting order of the player he replaces.
Pinch hitters are often used to replace a starting player when the pinch hitter is thought to have a better chance of reaching base or helping other runners to score when the bases are loaded.
According to the Old Testament in Leviticus 1:3-4, people had to bring their sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle to atone for their sins. Usually it was a male lamb. The priest would inspect the lamb to see if it was perfect, without any blemishes. The sacrifice of a lamb had to be done year after year. This was a foreshadow of what was to come in the New Testament.
Watch the two-minute video at the top of this article. See the lamb being inspected by the priest. Then see the hand being laid on the lamb's head. Notice the sin being transferred into the lamb at the 0.35 mark before the lamb is being taken to be sacrificed.
In the New Testament, Jesus became our pinch hitter when He became our sacrificial lamb. He became our substitute on the cross as He took on our sins just as the perfect lamb took on the sins in the Old Testament. However, Jesus took on our sins once and for all, and His righteousness was transferred to us.
As a result, we are able to walk in the righteousness of God. We can declare that we are the righteousness of God, and we have an inheritance because we have received the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.
All this is possible because God sent Jesus to be our pinch hitter.