The last hurdle is the most important. Past successes don’t count.
READ: Luke 12:4-9
Thousands packed the stadium in Rio de Janeiro to watch the decisive 1950 World Cup match between Uruguay and their illustrious host Brazil. For the first time the event adopted a round-robin format instead of the usual knockout system. Brazil going into the match needed only a draw to be crowned world champions, having impressively brushed aside all opposition along the way, while their opponent, managing to narrowly eke out one win and a draw previously, needed to beat the host. But to everyone’s surprise, Uruguay came from behind and upset the tournament favorites. Brazil, although it had started well, fell at the last hurdle.
Have you ever thought of life’s “final”—an inevitable showdown we all must face? Sooner or later death will confront us, forcing us to consider where we will spend eternity—in heaven or in hell. When we stand before our Maker, past accomplishments will count for nothing. We cannot lay claim to God’s heaven any more than Brazil could rely on her track record to lift the Cup. On that day, Brazil needed to wrest victory and so must we.
But how can we beat the righteous and perfect standards of God? We can’t. “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Thankfully, it isn’t through our efforts. Jesus’ death on the cross qualifies those trusting Him to enter heaven.
Don’t stumble at life’s Finals. Trust in Jesus today
Who was the top goal scorer of the 1970 World Cup? Which goalkeeper was known as the “black spider” in the 1966 World Cup? Which team lost out to Maradona’s goal known as the “Hand of God”? Until the 2010 World Cup, which of the following countries had never participated in the competition? Cuba, Jamaica, China, or Finland?