“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”—1 Corinthians 15:57
In 1995, the Indiana Pacers made it to the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals. They were up against the New York Knicks, and it didn’t look favourable for the Pacers. The Knicks had a better regular season record, and the game was held at their home court, New York’s Madison Square Garden. With 16.4 seconds on the clock, the Pacers were down six points.
Jesus made the comeback for us when we never could ourselves.
But Reggie Miller, shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, took a chance and shot a 3-pointer. Then he shot another. In the final nine seconds of the game, Reggie Miller scored eight points for the Indiana Pacers, claiming their victory and stunning the New York Knicks. For years, people would re-tell the great story, and refer to it as the greatest NBA comeback in history.
Last year, the NRL Grand Final saw two Queensland teams face each other for the first time. The North Queensland Cowboys were up against the Brisbane Broncos, who had dominated the season, sitting at number one on the NRL ladder. Within the first few minutes of the game, the Broncos had scored a try. The next 80 minutes of football were fast and intense, with the Cowboys playing hard, but always falling short of claiming the lead.
Then, in the final few seconds, as the full-time siren sounded, Kyle Feldt crossed the line to score a try for the Cowboys, bringing the score to 16-16 and forcing the game into golden point. Within minutes, captain Johnathan Thurston had kicked a field goal to get the Cowboys one point. The North Queensland Cowboys, the underdogs and a team who had never previously made it to a NRL Grand Final, had won.
There’s another comeback story you might have heard.
It’s a family story: One father, two sons. One does everything right—he’s the golden boy, the frontrunner. The other takes his Dad’s money prematurely, blows it all on booze and women, and ends up homeless. But just like these great sports stories, this guy never gives up. He swallows his pride, and makes a comeback: he goes home. And despite everything he’s done, his father treats him as though he’s the winner.
In this life, we’re the underdogs. The difference between us and the great comebacks of history, though, is that no matter what we do or how hard we try, there is no way we can win by ourselves.
But there is someone who can, and His name is Jesus: the ultimate comeback King.
He came back from the grave even though the Romans crucified Him.
And He is coming back to take us to heaven, even though we, the underdogs, don’t even deserve to win.
Jesus made the comeback for us when we never could ourselves. That’s what I consider to be the greatest comeback of all time.
And that’s a story worth telling.
Maritza Brunt is assistant editor at Adventist Media.