Congratulations to Matthew Stafford and the L. A. Rams for winning it all in Super Bowl 56. Every Lions’ fan I’ve talked to was cheering for Stafford, who spent the first twelve years of his career playing for Detroit.
The Lions have not been in the championship game since 1957—before it was called the “Super Bowl.” That’s a losing drought of 65 years; a barren wasteland for Detroit gridiron fans. So, when your team’s quarterback gets traded and leads his team all the way to the Big Game, you can’t help rooting for him. I even saw “Detroit Rams” merchandise being sold online.
It felt like the Lions’ fans were living their Super Bowl dreams vicariously through Matthew Stafford. And that’s basically the meaning of “vicarious.” It’s experiencing something for or through someone else. Maybe in a small way, this Super Bowl helps us better understand the gospel.
The Bible says that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We were sinners; definitely on the losing team with no way to save our season (or our souls). But “God so loved the world,” that He sent His only Son (John 3:16).
Jesus came from heaven to become one of us (Hebrews 2:17), with one major difference: He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Here comes the “vicarious” part. Jesus never sinned, but took all our sin upon Himself and suffered the death sentence punishment for us on the cross—“Christ died for us.”
You don’t have to pay for your own sins; when you trust in Jesus alone, God counts His death and resurrection to your account. He beat sin and death, so God “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Sometimes, you just need someone to win it all for you.