We are now in the midst of the first round of March Madness and people across the country are already looking at their brackets, scratching their heads, and asking, “Why did I pick them?” Always, someone picks a No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed—but, coming into this year, No. 16 seeds are 0-96 in the opening round. It isn’t that they don’t try hard enough, or that they are less committed than No. 1 seeds. It’s just too big of a mountain to climb. The No. 16 seeds are smaller schools from smaller conferences, and they just don’t have the resources (or the talent) to knock off a big-time steamroller from a power conference. It is just an impossible task. No amount of effort or good attitude can overcome the lack of ability to compete at that level. A No. 16 seed just doesn’t have the ability to get it done—no matter how hard they might try.
This same reality applies when it comes to where a person will spend eternity. No amount of human effort, religious dedication, or good deeds can overcome the fact of the separation between us and our Creator. The Bible puts it this way: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Some very moral people may achieve more in the area of good works. Some religious people may accomplish more in terms of spiritual activity or performance. All, however, fall short. No one can make it by their own efforts.
I compare it to trying to jump the Pacific Ocean on a motorcycle. You may get a little further than me, or vice versa, but none of us can make it to the other side. It is, left to ourselves, an impossibility. It is beyond our ability. The same is true of forgiveness and eternal life. We can’t make it to heaven on our own—no matter how hard we try. We need help. So Jesus came into the world to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves—to bring us to God. Join us tomorrow on Sports Spectrum radio as we take a further look at our need for help in the greatest of spiritual challenges.
Bill Crowder, Sport Spectrum Chaplain