The 2019 Masters was only the second-greatest story ever told, apparently. Everyone thought Tiger Woods was as good as dead after years of losing and back problems. Similarly, everyone counted out Jesus after the crucifixion.
People mocked Tiger Woods for being the worst sexter in the history of sexting. People mocked Jesus for his followers proclaiming him King.
Tiger came back and rolled a small ball into a hole. Jesus came back and rolled a big stone out of a hole. Coincidence? Let’s see what the experts have to say.
Over at Fox News, Dr. Jack Graham wrote “Why Tiger Woods’ comeback is an Easter story”:
Even the toughest and manliest of us had trouble holding back tears. Woods had not won a major tournament in over 11 years, and seeing him burst in a shout of celebration — eyes shut, arms up in the air — made all of us who were present realize just how much he had to overcome to get to that moment.
If you are struggling to endure the pain in your life, I invite you to find a church near you and go to one of their Easter services. Just like Tiger Woods at the Masters last Sunday, it could be the day you make the greatest comeback of your life.
Ginnie Graham (no relation that I can tell) also wrote about Easter and Tiger (also about Notre Dame, Frankenstein, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harry Potter, Groundhog Day, and Bob Marley) for the Tulsa World:
All this makes sense as we saw fans, even non-golf fans, pulled into that rebound from Tiger Woods. The world wants to see the Notre Dame Cathedral restored to its long-held glory. Everyone loves a comeback.
In the Deseret News, Jennifer Graham (again, no relation as far as I can tell) wrote “What the Tiger Woods comeback story teaches us about forgiveness and redemption”:
After Tiger Woods walked off the Masters course on Palm Sunday, hugged his children, and put on the winner’s green jacket for the fifth time, Woods said, “It fits.” He smiled, and the redemptive arc seemed complete.
A friend texted “Greatest comeback ever … except for Easter,” to L. Gregory Jones, dean of Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.
For the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, Charlie Harper wrote “Tiger’s Masters victory is sort of an Easter story in itself,” but got a little off-topic:
Public opinion is fickle, and has been for at least 2,000 years. Jesus came into Jerusalem being greeted as a king. A week later, the same crowds chose to have him executed, favoring the release of a hardened criminal instead. Let this serve as my annual reminder for those who seek salvation for themselves and others via the political process that the only time Jesus was on the ballot, Barabbas won the election.
For the American Spectator, Larry Alex Taunton wrote “Tiger Woods, Easter, and the Complicated Nature of Redemption” that ended like this:
An interesting economic side note: Nike is one of the few sponsors that stayed with Woods when his life — and his endorsement value — went into a tailspin. The message Nike wanted to send, says sports marketing consulting Joe Favorito, is that “the company will stick by you when the chips are down.” It literally paid off. Nike’s stock, which has been in freefall for much of this year, surged by more than $4 billion in the wake of Woods’s Masters victory.
And here’s what Jeff Ginn wrote on baptistmessage.com:
But, let me be clear, as great as is Tiger’s redemption story, there is a greater comeback story than that.
And it happened on a Sunday morning too!
It is the story of Jesus — once dead now raised to life! Now that’s a comeback story for the ages!
In the Suffolk News-Herald, pastor Thurman Hayes invoked Virginia’s comeback, too:
But as powerful as the UVA and the Tiger Woods comebacks have been, Easter is about an infinitely greater comeback. Jesus Christ came back from the dead!
This Sunday, we will celebrate the fact that we have a risen Savior. The resurrection of Jesus is not a fairy tale. It was not a vision or a myth. He didn’t just “rise in the hearts” of his followers. No, Jesus really rose from the dead, literally and physically.
And lastly, a letter to the editor in the Jamestown Post-Journal, by John Beckerink, went big on the golf puns:
Two thousand years ago another man walked a different course. He never drove a golf ball, but he drove evil and disease out of people’s lives. He never read a green, but was able to read people’s lives and motives. He never received any trophies nor sought the applause of people.
His greatest joy was to live a perfect sinless life so that he could make his final walk up his life’s course to offer himself as a perfect substitute on a wooden cross.
Easter is a Christian columnist’s Game of Thrones; there’s not a blog topic it can’t be crammed into.