It’s been a blast watching Florida Gulf Coast make March Madness history. Over the weekend they became the only 15 seed in NCAA history to reach the sweet 16. Even though their run in the tournament has ruined everyones bracket, we all love cheering for the underdog. There’s nothing like seeing a team win when the odds are all against them. Why is that?
We love the underdog story…because it is our story.
Because of our sinful nature, we are underdogs in our relationship with God. The Bible describes us as separated from God because of our sin (Isaiah 59:2). It says that none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10) and we cannot please God in and of ourselves (Romans 8:7,8). We have no spiritual understanding and the things of God are foolish to us (1 Corinthians 2:14). We are dead in our trespasses and our sins (Ephesians 2:1).
We love the underdog story…because it is the story of our redemption.
In order to deliver us and bring salvation to mankind, God becomes the ultimate underdog in Jesus Christ. He was born to an unwed teenage mother and a working class foster father in the humble town of Bethlehem. He worked as an obscure carpenter the majority of his life. He associated with outcasts and sinners. He was betrayed by one of his closest friends, and abandoned by the rest of his followers. He was ridiculed, mocked, and sentenced to death as a common criminal. He suffered the most excruciating death on a Roman cross and he was buried in a sealed tomb.
Talk about insurmountable odds! His disciples thought it was over. The enemy thought he had won. Yet, Jesus engineers the greatest come from behind victory ever known. His resurrection from the dead defied the odds and overcame every obstacle in order to bring us salvation.
Because we follow the ultimate underdog, we get to participate in His victory. We are no longer dead, but made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5). We are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sins are completely forgiven. We are no longer separated from God, but we are now joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). We exchange our unrighteousness for the righteousness of Jesus (Romans 5:17). And the list could go on and on.
It’s overwhelming to consider the enormity of what Jesus accomplished on our behalf…and that’s why I believe we all love and identify with the story of the underdog! It’s God’s story of redemption and it is our story of needed to be redeemed.