Read a Wolverines Excerpt

Read a Wolverines Excerpt

Read Matthew 26:14-16; 27:1-10.

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse” (v. 27:3).

Elroy Hirsch really did have this running business all wrong.

After a season of football at Wisconsin in 1942, Hirsch’s commitment to the Navy’s V-12 program required he transfer to Michigan. He played two seasons at running back for the Wolverines and was All-America in 1943. That school year he earned the distinction of being the only athlete in school history to letter in four sports in a single year.

When his military assignment kept Hirsch from making trips back to Madison to see his sweetheart, he solved the problem by joining the basketball team. “It was the only way he could get to Madison to see me,” his future wife said. As the starting center, he led the conference in rebounding.

In the spring of 1944, Hirsch pitched the Wolverine baseball team to the Big Ten championship and was a star long jumper on Coach Ken Doherty’s league champion track and field team. Hirsch’s unique running style made him a master in the art of broken field running on the gridiron. It also earned him one of sport’s most enduring and endearing nicknames. A sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News said of Hirsch as he ran, “His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck.”

It was Doherty, however, who discovered that Hirsch’s legs really were crazy. That broken field running that was so great on the football field kept Hirsch from staying in his lane on the track. Doherty felt that his star would be more effective if he would just run straight. When Doherty examined Hirsch’s cleat marks, he saw the problem. “While Hirsch’s right foot remained straight, his left toed inward. When he brought the leg back, it flew off on a wide tangent, sending him veering off-course.”

Crazylegs Hirsch really did run the wrong way.

There’s wrong, there’s dead wrong, and there’s Judas wrong. We’ve all been wrong in our lives, but we can at least honestly ease our conscience by telling ourselves we’ll never be as wrong as Judas was. A close examination of Judas’ actions, however, reveals that we can indeed replicate in our own lives the mistake Judas made that drove him to suicidal despair.

Judas ultimately regretted his betrayal of our Lord, but his sorrow and remorse, however boundless, could not save him. His attempt to undo his initial wrong was futile because he tried to fix everything himself rather than turning to God in repentance and begging for mercy.

While we can’t literally betray Jesus to his enemies as Judas did, we can match Judas’ failure in our own lives by not turning to God in Jesus’ name and asking for forgiveness for our sins. In that case, we ultimately will be as dead wrong as Judas was.

I must’ve looked pretty funny.-- Elroy ‘Crazylegs’ Hirsch on his running style

A sin is the first wrong; failing to ask God for forgiveness of it is the second.

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