There had never been a football game quite like it. Not in all the years before; not in the 80-some years since.
It was a dark and dreary day in 1916, the perfect setting for a matchup between the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech and their unlikely opponents from Cumberland. Under the leadership of John Heisman, Georgia Tech came eager for victory and would not be disappointed. This would turn out to be the highest-scoring, most lopsided game every played.
By the end of the first quarter, the score was 63-0. From there, the Yellow Jackets averaged a touchdown every minute and twenty seconds. By half time, the Cumberland coach was no longer wondering how to stop the opponents–he was wondering how he could convince his players to return to the field.
They did return, only to suffer the worst loss in football history: 222-0.
There had never been a DAY quite like it. Not in all the years before; not in the many years since.
Dark and dreary can only begin to describe the events of that momentous day beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Another matchup was underway. Jesus, the second Adam, was there to engage the enemy of the first Adam.
Suspended upon a Roman cross and surrounded by enemies, to most observers the outcome appeared hopeless. As death approached and defeat appeared imminent, some courageously mocked: “He saved others, Himself He cannot save.”
Even His disciples were confused. Enroute to Emmaus, just days later, they lamented: “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeen Israel.” With head slumped forward and breathing stopped, He appeared no different than anyone else–defeated by the curse of sin. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). So it seemed.
An Absolute Blowout!
How sad if this account (and our faith) had ended with Good Friday, when the final score wasn’t posted until Easter Sunday. A short distance in time–but an eternal distance in outcome.
Far from death defeating Jesus — Jesus defeats death. Far from the devil gaining an upperhand, Satan’s head is crushed. Far from sin overcoming Jesus — Jesus overcomes the curse of sin.
The score isn’t even close. It’s an absolute blow-out. So great is the margin of victory that Paul goes on: “The free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:15,17).
So “much more”–that is the outcome of His Easter victory.
More grace than sin (“where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” – Rom. 5:20); more than enough righteousness to cover an entire world of lost sinners (“by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” – Rom. 5:18); more joy and happiness than could possibly be imagined on this side of heaven (“therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” – Rom. 5:1,2).
So “much more” that no sportscaster could conceive of enough superlatives to describe what Jesus has done.
Much more amazing is that this incredible victory is ours by faith. Praise God!
–Pastor James Albrecht