ONE AND DONE? WON, NOT DONE!

                                                                   2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24

For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made in the righteousness of God in Him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            –2 Corinthians 5:21

The expression “one and done” is a popular basketball term that has different meanings. First, when the offense shoots and misses and the defense gets the rebound, that’s the end of the possession for the offense, which had one shot and only one shot. Too many “one and done” possessions will ultimately end a team’s chance of winning the game.

“One and done” also describes an aspiring team’s chances in a season-ending tournament such as NCAA March Madness. Some teams are “one and done” by early Thursday afternoon. It’s as if they weren’t even in the tournament.

The term “one and done” also refers to a college freshman who is so outstanding that he is drafted by the NBA after his first season. Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Andrew Wiggins, John Wall, Jabari Parker, and Kyrie Irving come to mind.

The Fial Four achievement by Coach John Calipari’s young Kentucky Wildcats has stirred incredibly high interest across the college basketball community and fan base. The primary reason is that during the tournament, almost 90% of Kentucky’s points have been scored by the newest Fab Five freshmen, who are Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and James Young.  All five have been starters since February.

Despite a disappointing regular season which led to an eight seed, Kentucky’s teamwork improved dramatically during the SEC tournament, which helped them defeat three 2013 Final Four teams, senior-laden, undefeated one seed Wichita State, sharpshooting two seed Michigan, and archrival four seed Louisville. Each game was a classic battle between a team of probable “one and done” freshmen against a traditional veteran squad with March Madness experience. Many experts who had been critical of Calipari and his “one and done” philosophy are now praising this team for their poise and ability to execute under pressure during the last five minutes.

The games have been so exciting that they have actually stirred appreciation for both approaches.  Perhaps there is no one right answer to the “one and done” debate. Regardless of which side of the “one and done” debate you are on, all would agree that these games and the usual slew of upsets have made for thrilling competition in what may regard as the best sporting event in the world.  Next Monday’s championship game could match Kentucky’s Fab Five freshmen against Florida’s Fab Four senior class.  Now that game would be be one for the ages!

The ultimate “one and done” occurred when Jesus took the sins of the world from the garden of Gethsemane, dragged the cross on the Via Dolorosa, and ultimately was nailed to that cross. After Jesus rose from the grave, the animal sacrifices that had been made for hundreds of years came to a screeching halt for thousands of Jews weeks after Jesus ascended to heaven.

The old covenant of animal sacrifices had been replaced by the new covenant. The blood sacrifices and the sprinkling of the doorposts would never have to be followed again because Jesus shed his own blood as the sign of God’s new covenant with the people, first the Jews and later the Gentiles. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin but became sin for us so that we might become his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), had delivered the ultimate “one and done.”

After Kentucky defeated Michigan, Ms. Tyler Thompson, a writer for kentuckysportsradio.com, posted this catchy phrase, “Won, Not Done.” Yes, the Wildcats had won this game, but they were not done because there were two more games to win in order to be crowned NCAA champions.

As Christians “Won, Not Done” means that Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave, and Jesus made it possible for us to win the eternal battles for our souls.  However, as followers of Christ, we are not done by any means. God expects us to live out our daily lives and shine our lights in ways that draw others to his kingdom. He is never done working within us to help us become more Christlike.

Prayer: Most wonderful Father, I am so grateful that Jesus had the courage as the Son of Man and Son of God to deliver on a “one and done” for me. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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