Doesn't Make Sense
There are some parts about the good news of Jesus that make sense and relate directly to sport. But there is one thing that makes no sense at all and is impossible to understand by looking at anything in this world: Like the Suns winning the premiership.
Easy to understand
So when we look at the AFL Grand Final, what is easy to understand about Jesus?
Athletes understand when they don't reach their standards. No one has a perfect career or even a perfect game. The coach's instructions are never completely carried out. As a result they can know they fall short of God's perfect standard. That is, they know about sin. (www.biblegateway.com)
Athletes understand judgement. When they fall short of a standard their performance is judged. Sometimes this is by the coach or the media or the public or even their peers. Their on and off field performances are constantly being judged. As a result they can know about God's judgement for sin. (www.biblegateway.com)
Athletes understand sacrifice. They train hard and put their bodies and minds through hard workouts. They often sacrifice their individual performance for team mates. They put their bodies on the line so that the team can achieve its goal. They sacrifice much to win the game. As a result they can know about the cross. Jesus sacrificied Himself on the cross so that through His death we might live. (www.biblegateway.com)
Athletes understand victory and triumph. They understand the feeling of overcoming opposition. As a result they can know about the resurrection: Jesus victory over sin and death. They can understand that everyone on His team can share in that victory. (www.biblegateway.com)
Impossible to understand!
But there is one thing an athlete can't understand from their performance: Grace. Grace is undeserved favour. Receiving something for nothing. Like the Suns finishing last on the ladder but given the AFL Flag as a free gift. Our relationship with God comes from grace alone. Athletes can have no understanding of grace by looking at their game. It comes from a gracious God who loves beyond anything we can understand. God saves us even before we knew we needed saving. This is all from God, and reflects the grace and love He has toward you. (www.biblegateway.com)
This AFL Grand Final, remember that a restored relationship with God is a free gift. It is not through anything you have done or haven't done. It is solely through the greatest performance ever: Jesus sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. Why not share this article or the gospel points with someone you care about?
Jeremy is a former sport scientist, now chaplain & pastor.