CLERGY CORNER: The world’s greatest comeback!

Posted on 25 April 2019 by LeslieM

The world loves a good comeback story! On Sunday, April 14, Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters Tournament. After going 11 years without winning any major championships, suffering through a scandal and divorce, being arrested for suspected DUI, and having three back surgeries that hampered his golfing ability, Tiger roared back to the delight and surprise of the world. Though his true fans always had hope, many experts and sports commentators had written Tiger off. They said he was finished; they said he was a washed-up player whose best years were behind him; they looked to newer and younger pros like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. His 11-year drought and difficulty finding his rhythm after the back surgeries convinced them that Tiger Woods’ championship days were a thing of the past. But rejecting the negative prognostications of the naysayers, fighting through the pain of his back problems, and persisting despite the failures of his previous attempts, Tiger made a dramatic comeback!

One day later, Monday, April 15, during game two of the Western Conference playoffs, the LA Clippers fought their way back from a 31-point deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors 135-131. The effort broke the previous NBA finals comeback record held by the LA Lakers, who rallied from 29 points behind to defeat Seattle in the 1989 Western Conference semis. One news headline described the Clippers’ win over the Warriors as the NBA’s biggest playoff comeback. Somehow, the Clippers had managed to fight their way back from certain defeat against the defending champion Warriors in a stunning upset victory. What made the win even more remarkable is the fact that the Warriors team boasts several superstar players (Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green), whereas the Clippers boast no major talent. Like David facing the invincible Goliath, the Clippers (on that night) brought down the mighty Warriors and gave the world of sports another great comeback story.

This past Sunday, the Christian church celebrated what is arguably the world’s greatest comeback. Some 2,000 years ago, the historical Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross as punishment for claiming to be the Son of God. His enemies had rejected Him and plotted His downfall even though He operated with undeniable power. Judas betrayed Him, His disciples forsook Him, and the crowds that heralded Him on Sunday demanded His crucifixion on Friday. It looked like all hope was lost; it seemed like His work was all in vain; it even appeared that God had turned His back on Him. But He had predicted: destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again (see John 2:19). And early Sunday morning, He got up from the grave just as He said. In so doing, He made it possible for mankind to be reconciled to God. If you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved (Romans 10:9).

The Genesis account of creation reveals that the unique relationship that Adam and Eve shared with God in the Garden of Eden was severed when they ate the forbidden fruit. Consequently, all of humanity was positioned as rebellious against God, made slaves to sin, and in need of redemption. The only remedy was a sacrifice of blood by a spotless lamb. Jesus was that lamb slain for the sins of the world. His death paid the price and His resurrection certified that sin’s power was broken. We no longer have to hide from God like Adam and Eve did after they sinned, we can enjoy fellowship with Him. We’re no longer destined for His wrath, but we are the objects of His love. It was the greatest comeback! Jesus’ resurrection also inspires us to push past personal failures and setbacks in the hopes of recovery and restoration. As He suffered, He is qualified to help those who are suffering (see Hebrews 2:18). He turned His tragedy into triumph, and He can help you to do the same. Put your trust in Him and you may discover that your setback was really a set up for a great comeback.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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