Mexican Dominoes

dominos lined up during a game

At a friend’s house last night, I was introduced to Mexican Dominoes.  It’s one of those games where you want as few points as possible after all the rounds.  Like golf.

My first game of Mexican Dominoes I had like 32 points.  Not good.  Another round I ended up with 54.  I had a blast playing the game with good friends, but if I’d actually been playing in a competition, I might have excused myself for a glass of water and sneaked away!  Nobody (nobody I know, anyway), likes the thought of accumulating “bad points” on their score that can’t be gotten rid of later in the game.  Although you can improve your score at Mexican Dominoes, you will still have to deal with the scores you got in earlier rounds.  So even if you won a round (g0t a zero for a score), it would basically be for nothing if you were carrying a heavy score from earlier rounds.

Our lives are actually a lot like Mexican Dominoes, except we don’t get to finally erase our score at the end of a game.  No matter how good I try to be in the present moment, the past is inescapable.  I carry a heavy score of bad decisions that cannot be made up for or scribbled out.  The score is so outrageously against me, in fact, that it’s hard to be motivated to even try in the future.

The nightmare of this life is that there is no way to go back and undo what we’ve done wrong.

The hope of this life is Jesus.

Jesus is the only one who never earned a single bad point, and so He is the only winner.  But He didn’t stop there.  Although He had a perfect score, He took our negative points on Himself and lost to them so we take on His perfect score and win with Him.

There is no way to erase a bad score in Mexican dominoes.  But there is one way to erase a bad life.  Jesus Christ has won the right not just to free us from our sin but also to give us His eternally righteous score.

Why would He do such a thing?  I mean, why wouldn’t He keep His unchallenged, perfect score for Himself and let us die and go to Hell without any chance for redemption?

Because the God of our universe cares more about people than the bad points they have earned.  He would rather erase our scoreboards and keep us than keep our scoreboards and erase us.

But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us. (Romans 5:8, BBE)


Wash away my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2, HCSB)

When he [Jesus] sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Isaiah 53:11, NLT)

So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”(Galatians 3:11-13, NLT)

God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)


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