According to Dean Merrill, author of the booklet, The World’s Greatest Comeback, “Everybody loves a comeback story.
“The best sports on TV, the most dramatic movies, the most inspiring newspaper features are about people who’ve been beaten down, overwhelmed, pummeled into the mud — and then somehow they come surging back to win.
“Abraham Lincoln losing half a dozen elections over the years and then becoming president just as his country desperately needed a wise leader for the Civil War.
“The 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey Team rising to finally beat the Soviets 4-3 at Lake Placid and going on to win the gold medal, to which Sportscaster Al Michaels said, ‘Do you believe in miracles?!’”
Good question, Mr. Michaels. I’m sure it was a hard fought game, but a miracle? That’s a stretch, but let me tell you about a real-life miracle.
There was once an extraordinary man, who was born to an extraordinary woman, who grew up and lived in an ordinary day and age in the Middle East.
He taught the people to be radical in their religion, saying such things as, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37).
He showed God’s love by healing all manner of diseases, even on the Sabbath, stirring up trouble because non-radical religion teaches rules are more important than relationships.
He caused an uproar when he forgave people of their sins since the religious leaders of the day taught God alone can forgive sin.
They were right. Only God can forgive sin. And that is why he came. For, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22).
Jesus gave his life that the penalty for sin might be paid in full and we might be free and experience the “good” life.
One of my favorite cartoons is BC by Johnny Hart. In one Good Friday edition of his column he wrote, “I hate the term Good Friday!”
“My Lord was hanged on a tree that day.”
“If you were going to be hanged on that day and he volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?”
“Have a nice day.”
They (we, by our sins) did kill him.
He was dead and buried.
On the third day he rose again.
Death couldn’t keep him down.
It was without a doubt, “the World’s Greatest Comeback.”
The traditional greeting of the Church from that time until this very day is, “He is risen” to which the response is, “He is risen, indeed.”
“He is risen! He is not here.” (Mark 15:6)
Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day! Happy Comeback!
You who had no life now have the “good life” in Christ.
For he is risen!
Greg Schannep is the pastor of Faith Fellowship in Nolanville.