Like millions of others this past Sunday, I was captivated by The Masters golf tournament. To be honest, I almost always watch The Masters, but this year, I watched with a different level of interest and intensity. And the reason was simple: Tiger was on the leaderboard.
His victory is probably one of the biggest comebacks in sports history. Not only had he not won a major since 2008, the 11 years in-between have not been pretty. To me, the fact that it happened on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week makes it a near-perfect illustration of the message of Easter.
Easter is about the resurrection, but too many times, we make the mistake that the resurrection is something that happens when we die. Yes, that is part of it, but there is so much more. The resurrection is also a celebration of the life here and now. The large part of the Easter message is about redemption. Easter proclaims that there is no sin that cannot be forgiven by God.
The Good News of the Resurrection is that today, no matter what you have done in the past, no matter how far you might have wandered from God, no matter how big the slip-up or sin or mistake was, whether it was a failure for the world to see or a failure that stays between God and you, the reality is you don’t have to live there anymore. Divorce? Addiction? Lies? Cheating? Unfaithfulness? You name it: the Resurrection declares that you matter…that you can have a clean slate, a fresh day, and a new birth. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “the old has died, behold the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
None of us will probably ever wear the green jacket, but each of us can make a comeback. Each of us can find redemption, and we can all experience the resurrection!