Read Philippians 2:1-11.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!” (v. 7)
Strange but true: Ohio State once won a football game with some of the Buckeye players standing on the sideline in their street clothes and many of the fans on their way home.
A year after winning the national championship, the Buckeyes of Coach Paul Brown appeared to have tied Illinois 26-26 in 1943. When the final horn sounded, players of both teams headed for the dressing room, and fans fled for the exits. Only a few folks seemed to notice the officials’ conference. Even fewer had spotted the flag the head linesman had thrown on the last play of the game. Illinois had been offside.
Such confusion reigned that after the refs decided Ohio State would get one last play, they really didn’t know where the ball should be placed. They finally decided on the 18-yard line.
The officials then had the problem of getting the teams back onto the field. More than a few of the players from both squads were already in the showers. Many of them simply and hurriedly donned street clothes and walked back to the sideline to watch the game’s second ending. After some twelve minutes had passed, the refs blew the whistle for the last play.
The strangeness continued when Brown ordered John Stungis, the team’s 18-year-old freshman quarterback, to try a 35-yard field goal. Stungis had never attempted a place kick before. His kick was good, and Ohio State won 29-26 in what became known as the “Fifth Quarter” win.
Many of the spectators who had left the stadium with the score tied did not learn until they read the Sunday newspapers that the Buckeyes had won in one of the strangest endings in Ohio State football history.
Some things in life are just strange. How else can we account for curling, tofu, that person go to bars to meet the “right” person, the proliferation of tattoos, and the behavior of teenagers? Isn’t it strange that today we have more ways to stay in touch with each other yet are losing the intimacy of personal contact?
And how strange is God’s plan to save us? Being God, he could have come roaring down, destroying and blasting everyone whose sinfulness offended him, which, of course, is pretty much all of us. Then he could have brushed off his hands, nodded the divine head, and left a scorched planet in his wake.
Instead, God came up with a totally novel plan: He would save the world by becoming a human being, letting himself be humiliated, tortured, and killed, thus establishing a kingdom of justice and righteousness that will last forever.
It’s a strange way to save the world – but it’s true.
Most of us had taken our uniforms off when they made us come back on the field. We couldn’t believe it. It was amazing. -- OSU Center Howard Teifke on the ‘43 Illinois game
It’s strange but true: God allowed himself to be killed on a cross to save the world.