Monday, February 8, 2010

Say Goodbye To Superbowl 44

Superbowl 44 is in the books – complete with great action, high drama, surprise plays, and a few new records for America’s biggest sporting event. The NFL’s flagship game this time lived up to most of the hype and provided viewers with one of the better games in recent memory. The 31-17 victory by the Saints of New Orleans was the first ever championship in the franchise’s rather disappointing history. The win was also an emotional lift for the area that has struggled ever since that disaster that was Hurricane Katrina.

Unfortunately for the Colts all-star quarterback Payton Manning the contest may well tarnish his otherwise amazing legacy and give his detractors added fuel about his not being able to come through in the big games. Manning has won just one Superbowl, which is not quite enough for football immortality when considering his legendary regular season statistics and near miraculous performances.

Manning’s counterpart, Drew Brees, won the game MVP and tied a record for the most completed passes in the mega-event. When accepting the coveted trophy after the game, the outspoken Christian said, among other things, “God is great”.

The Superbowl is the pinnacle of football, and of all professional sporting events for that matter. Winning it guarantees one a unique place in a small famed fraternity. But with that said, its true importance in the larger scheme of life and death is questionable at best. The reality is that few, other than the respective team’s fans and the victorious players themselves, will be able to even recall who won this, or any Superbowl, ten years down the road. Like anything in life, things that have only earthly value will eventually have no real or lasting impact in the eternal realm. Without question, winning a championship, on any level, is a superbly great feeling – but again for exactly how long?

When Brees stated that ‘God is great’ his praise also revealed a basic, but equally great, theological truth. Not only does Scripture indicate the infinite power and greatness of the Creator, but it assures that His greatness will endure throughout time and eternity. His glory will never, ever fade away as will all earthly accomplishments, no matter how great they may seem at the time.

Titus chapter two speaks to and confirms the absolute greatness of both the heavenly Father and His Savior-Son, Jesus Christ. In verses 11-14 we find, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

Then, too, Hebrews 4:14 echoes that truth and specifies the official spiritual office of the Savior. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Also, the greatness of what He accomplished through His sacrifice on the cross is spelled out in Hebrews 2:3 – but in question form. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”

Superbowl 44 was a great game, characterized with some great moments, as achieved by great players. The joy and satisfaction for the victorious teams and fans alike may well last a lifetime. But then what? What comes next?

As the glory of great earthly moments begins to fade, and they all will, all that will matter will be owning an intimate knowledge of God’s infinite greatness. What will ultimately count is a true possession of personal faith in the great redemptive promises of Christ, as passages like 2 Peter 1:2-4 boldly proclaim!

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Breez had it right. God is great as is being one of His special people!

Bill Breckenridge

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