Olympic medals won, NBA records set, and a grieving audience of family, friends, and fans. The athletic arena lost a legend on January 26, 2020.
Kobe Bryant’s death has stunned not only the city of Los Angeles and Lakers fans, but also continues to overtake primetime news, Instagram feeds, sports channels, and perhaps every other communication medium. And why?
Everyone’s death is imminent, yet our culture stands immersed in the death of a former professional basketball player. The unexpected loss. The fame of athletes. The influence of legacy. While the tragic loss of “the Mamba” reveals his impact on players, coaches, and fans alike, but why has the culture responded to Kobe’s death with such sadness and disbelief?
The redemptive story sheds light on this tragedy. In the midst of grief, there’s hope for redemption and the future kingdom. How do we engage with grievous death—in particular, Kobe’s tragic death—in light of gospel hope? How do we view death, whether of a legendary athlete, our aging family member or longtime friend, or even ourselves? And more broadly speaking, how does our present suffering today precede our future glory?