"Celebrating a loss"

As time ticked away at Hull City's beautiful KC Stadium in the UK, an appreciative and raucous crowd stood in anxious anticipation. At game's end, hundreds of fans scurried onto the field to celebrate. Their beloved Tigers had just gone toe-to-toe with legendary Manchester United and . . . lost?

The TV commentator explained, "Hull City may have lost this battle, but they've won the relegation war." By losing "only" 0-1, Hull avoided relegation from England's vaunted Premiership and the dreaded banishment to an inferior league.

Clearly, not all losses are created equal. The greatest loss of all time occurred when Jesus was crucified. He had come to live on this earth. He walked among us, ate our food, breathed our air, healed our sick, and offered eternal life to any who would accept it. What did He get for His trouble? The religious leaders of His day conspired to put Him to death.

Yet Jesus didn't lose; He won! When Bono sings in Sunday Bloody Sunday, "to claim the victory Jesus won," he's singing about this victory. Jesus went willingly to the cross as a sacrificial Lamb to pay the price for our sins and to defeat sin and death. He who had never sinned became "the offering for our sin," says 2 Corinthians 5:21. And the very next portion of Scripture makes this crucially important appeal: "We beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God's kindness and then ignore it. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you' " (6:1-2).

Because of Christ's victory, we aren't relegated to live a dreary life of addiction to our sins, waiting for life's final whistle. Jesus conquered death. In Him, ultimate and overwhelming victory is ours (Romans 8:37). His loss became His greatest victory, and demands our praise and celebration of Him. , Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey

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