With a 28-3 score in the third quarter, many sports fans were both surprised and disappointed by the Falcons running away with Super Bowl LI. What was wrong with the Patriots? Weren’t Brady and Belichick the greatest? How could they let Atlanta do this to them? 

At this point in the game, many people got on social media declaring the Patriots were done. The Falcons fans were already celebrating, and Patriots fans were conceding. I’m sure people were turning off the TV or leaving their Super Bowl parties early, and questioning if Brady had the ability to bring his team back.

With eight minutes left in the third quarter, there was just enough time for Tom Brady to lead his team to 25 unanswered points…force overtime…and accomplish the most sensational comeback in Super Bowl history. INCREDIBLE, EXCITING, AMAZING, and THRILLING all describe the Patriots’ feat of knocking off the Falcons 34-28!

Despite the Patriots appearing to be down and out and succumbing to defeat, the 4th quarter reminded us of Brady and Belichick’s true greatness. Most of us quickly wondered why we would even consider counting them out? Did we really forget what the duo was capable of doing?

Of course loyal fans stuck by them until the very end, instead of bailing at the first sign of defeat, and the rest of us are still in awe after witnessing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

But as we give the New England Patriots our sports praise for their epic triumph and amazing historic achievement, I want to pause and recall the ultimate comeback – one that far exceeds anything taking place on a football field.

2,000+ years ago, a man claimed to be God and the Messiah sent to save the world. Despite his on-going miracles and amazing power, His enemies took an early lead when they nailed Him to a cross and crucified Him.

At this point, many of Jesus’ followers bailed and stopped believing that He was the greatest because He was now down and out. How could he die like this? Why wouldn’t He save himself? His followers went home discouraged and disappointed, while His enemies were celebrating what they thought was a big “victory.”

However, on the third day, Jesus completed the most extraordinary comeback of all time when He walked out of the tomb and did exactly what He came to earth to do. He died and rose again for you and me, and deserves all of our praise and honor. His glory shines above all because He saved us and changed the world!

The Bible says in Luke 24:44-47 (ESV), “Then He said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'”

As we watch the highlights of last night’s legendary Super Bowl comeback, let’s also be reminded of the most astonishing and eternally significant event in history. Let’s reserve our highest praise and awe for the One who bled and died for us…and stand with Him in victory today! I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank you that I could experience the excitement of a great Super Bowl. However, I pray that I would be reminded of Your great love and grace, and how Jesus completed the comeback that changed my life. Help me to live in view of that, and point others toward that wonderful truth. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.