By Chad Bonham
Super Bowl XLVIII (February 2, 2014): Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8
While many fans were preparing for Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was attending an early morning church service with team chaplain Judah Smith and other luminaries including former Seahawks star running back and NFL MVP Shaun Alexander. Wilson used his Instagram account to post a picture with the three men and a reference to one of the Bible verses that Smith quoted during his sermon:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Later that day, Wilson sent out another message to his Twitter followers:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
The game itself featured a contrasting matchup between Wilson, playing in just his second NFL season, and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, a future Hall of Famer looking for his second Super Bowl title.
Things did not go as expected.
Denver started out with a bad snap into the end zone that resulted in a safety and 2-0 lead for the Seahawks. From there, Wilson looked like a veteran as he led Seattle on five scoring drives throughout the game. With an interception return and kickoff return both going for touchdowns, the Seahawks scored 36 points before the Broncos could erase the zero from its side of the scoreboard.
When the final buzzer sounded, Wilson and his teammates were celebrating a lopsided 43-8 victory.
“(God) brought me a really long way,” Wilson told reporters after the game. “It’s unbelievable. It’s kind of surreal to be honest with you. Sitting there holding that trophy up and I’m looking up, I’m just so thankful for everything that I’ve been given.”
A year later, Wilson was able to put his faith to the test after losing Super Bowl XLIX in heartbreaking fashion. Down 28-24 against the New England Patriots and with seconds remaining in the game, Wilson infamously threw an interception at the goal line when most were expecting running back Marshawn Lynch to get ball.
Now on the losing side, Wilson used his Twitter account to remain positive:
“Thank You God for the opportunity. We’ll be back…I will never waiver on who He has called me to be…”
And that same day, he posted a separate note that included yet another inspirational Bible verse:
“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalm 18:1)
During that next offseason, Wilson spoke at The Rock Church in San Diego, California, and revealed that God had spoken to him directly after that play and challenged him to remain consistent in his approach as a Christian.
“Win or lose, it’s about Him for me,” Wilson also told BillyGraham.org. “It doesn’t matter the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, just keep Him first.”
This devotional is brought to you by Museum of the Bible, a 430,000 square foot museum being constructed 3 blocks south of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in November of 2017.
(Photos: Larry Maurer; @DangeRussWilson; andrewtat94)