What A Comeback
By Rev. Dustin Bartlett
It was the start of the 4th quarter, and the Falcons were up 28 to 9. Now, I’m not a huge Falcons fan, but I really, really, really don’t like the Patriots, and seeing the score at 28 to 9, I got a little snarky. I got on Facebook and wrote, “Tom Brady is starting to look pretty deflated.”
Get it? Deflated?
The Falcons were up 28 to 9 at the start of the 4th quarter.
By now, you know how the Super Bowl ended.
Credit where credit is due. Most teams get flustered, demoralized when they’re facing such a seemingly insurmountable deficit. Most everyone had written off the Patriots’ chances at this point. But even then, a comeback was still possible.
In the Christian faith, we have a lot of names for God: God, Father, Lord. We have a lot of metaphors to help us understand how God relates to us: Shepherd, King, Alpha and Omega. One that you’ve probably never heard in church before: God of the Comeback.
God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child, yet even as Sarah approached 90 years old, and Abraham 100 years old, they still had no children. Surely their situation was hopeless at this point. But then, a miracle happened. They had a son, Isaac.
When the Babylonians came and destroyed the holy city of Jerusalem, destroyed its temple, and carried its people into captivity, all hope seemed lost. This is precisely how the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed. It seemed that their nation was dead, but into this valley of dry bones God breathed new life, and fifty years later the captives had returned and began to rebuild their nation, their city, their temple.
He was supposed to be the Messiah. The Son of God. But he was crushed under the heel of Roman oppression. Crucified. Brutally executed like a common criminal. And his followers were crushed. They went back to their old lives as fishermen, because clearly they were wrong about him. Clearly, it was over. No one could come back from death.
By now, we all know how that story ended.
Even though I still don’t like the Patriots, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. It was an amazing comeback. It was definitely the biggest comeback in the history of the Super Bowl.
But the greatest comeback in history? Jesus is still the one who claims that title.