Today is one of my favorite days on the sports calendar. It is Selection Sunday! Today, the field of 68 basketball teams will be decided for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament that begins this Thursday and will crown a champion in New Orleans in early April.
All year long, teams go through a grueling regular season and then a week long conference tournament to ultimately see if their resume stands up in the eyes of the selection committee. Some teams are guaranteed spots via the conference tournament and just wondering if they will get a top seed or a favorable draw. Others are hoping that they flat out make the tourney.
This is what we in the sports world like to call the” Bubble” teams. These teams may some have good qualities on their resume, but they also have that one fatal flaw that may make the committee hesitant. For example, a team might have some great wins and a good RPI number, but they also may have a bad loss that sticks out amongst the rest.
As I think about Selection Sunday, I can’t help but think about the Lord Jesus Christ. You may be asking why I make that comparison. Well, I look at Jesus and I see Him as the Head of the Selection Committee. He ultimately holds the Book of Life in His hands! That is what John tells us in the Book of Revelation.
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (Revelation 20:12)
To continue on about the final judgment and what ultimately will happen before the Throne, Jesus gives us a picture of this in the Gospel of Matthew:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:31-33)
In this scenario, Jesus talks about how the King will differentiate the sheep from the goats and how people will inherit the Kingdom. It says how He was thirsty, but they gave Him something to drink, or He was naked, and they gave Him clothing. Jesus says to the sheep later on: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
If we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will all ultimately make the Big Dance that is Heaven with all our brothers and sisters in Christ! Whether you are of high esteem in the community (#1 seed) or a team struggling to make the tournament, it’s our faith that Jesus is the only way to salvation that allows God to have a place prepared for us by the Father like Jesus told His disciples in the gospel of John.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
Today, I exhort you as you watch the bracket being announced, to think about your resume on a spiritual level. We can say that we do all these great works and that we are good people, but that is a very bad loss in the Lord’s eyes. The only way we win the ultimate National Championship is the acceptance of Jesus. After that, all of our quality wins go off the table unless we give God all the glory!