There are a number of teams that have had terrific Super Bowl runs. In the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to win four Super Bowls, led by Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and the Steel Curtain defense. In the 1980s, the dominant team to streak to multiple titles was the San Francisco 49ers, winning in 1982, 1985, 1989, and 1990. Most recently, the New England Patriots have been to five Super Bowls, bringing home the Lombardi Trophy in 2002, 2004, and 2005. One of the more impressive streaks was from 1991–1995, when the Jim Kelly-led Buffalo Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls—an impressive feat in spite of the fact that they lost all four games. To me, however, arguably the greatest Super Bowl run was that of the Washington Redskins who won the Super Bowl in 1983, 1988, and 1991—each with a different starting quarterback (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien)! In a quarterback driven league, to win at the highest level while overcoming the challenge of changing signal-callers speaks to the leadership of head coach Joe Gibbs, the depth of their roster, and the overall work ethic of the team.
Facing the challenges of life, and overcoming them, is one of the most critical elements of living for Christ in a broken world. In reality, however, we have a distinct advantage over the challenges we face—we do not face them alone. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
How can we have peace in the midst of a demanding, often overwhelming world? Jesus says that it is because He has overcome the world on our behalf! His victory is our victory; therefore, His peace is our peace.
Notice, however, that Jesus doesn’t say we can have peace because we don’t have to face life’s challenges, or that somehow we have been exempted from hardship and difficulty. He says that we can have peace because His victory is sufficient for our tribulations. And this not only applies to the daily struggles of life, but it also provides for us in the ultimate challenge of life—death. Paul wrote:
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
Whether in the daily challenges of life or in life’s ultimate danger, our peace is a direct result of His victory—and the victory secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is worth more than any trophy the world has ever devised.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain