Victory is sweetest after everyone has written you off.
READ: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
No one gave the Americans, the 500-1 rank outsiders of the tournament, a chance. How could a team consisting mostly of part-timers possibly beat England, the king of football? While the latter boasted world-class players, the former could only put together a ragtag team comprised of postmen, dishwashers, schoolteachers, and a hearse driver.
But in the summer of 1950, the first World Cup after the Second World War, the Americans sprang one of the biggest upsets in football history, stunning the English with a 1-nil victory. It was dubbed “The Miracle on Grass.”
A far more stunning victory happened some 2,000 years ago that turned the human race’s battle against death on its head. Until then, death had remained unbeaten in every encounter.
When Jesus took on death, nobody expected any difference, but the improbable happened in that defining match, deeply affecting all of humanity.
Single-handedly He took on the might of secular and religious human authorities, the manipulating spiritual powers behind them, and even death itself. Although everyone, friend or foe, wrote Him off, He turned apparent defeat into victory that irreversibly broke the back of sin and death and subjugated all authorities in heaven and on earth (1 Corinthians 15:24-25). His ignominious death became the very symbol of love, grace, forgiveness, life, and hope. He did all this for you and me.
Which country hosted the FIFA World Cup twice but never got to the finals? Which team appeared only twice in the World Cup but finished third in the 2002 competition?