Published April 8, 2004
History has recorded some spectacular comebacks. Just five years ago news came from the Atlanta Braves training camp that Andres Galarraga had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his lower back.
He missed the entire 1999 season, but the cancer was eradicated and the process of recovery and rehabilitation was initiated. Doctors were uncertain as to how the torque of his powerful swing would affect the area in his lower back, which had been weakened by the cancer.
But on April 3, 2000 the Braves were playing the Colorado Rockies. Greg Maddux and Pedro Astacio were in a pitching duel. Astacio carried a no hitter into the fifth inning. In the seventh inning the game was tied 0 to 0.
After getting Brian Jordan to fly out to centerfield, Astacio threw a low fastball to Galarraga and with a mighty swing he hit the ball out of the park for a long homerun. Skip Carey, the Braves announcer said, “It’s amazing that a year ago today he wasn’t sure he’d be alive today. What a great comeback. If Hollywood wasn’t watching, it should get the tapes.”
In 1978 the Chrysler Corporation was plagued with management and sales problems. The company was heavily indebted and near bankruptcy. Chrysler stock was reduced to $2 a share.
Then President Lee Iacocca of the Ford Motor Company, who had introduced the sporty Mustang, the popular Mercury Cougar and the luxurious Lincoln Mark III, was immediately hired as president and chief executive officer of the Chrysler Corporation.
The first thing Iacocca did was reduce his own salary to $1 a year. Then, with his business savvy and forceful personality, Iacocca obtained U.S. government loan assistance, cut costs, introduced the popular K-cars, repaid all loans within 5 years and turned the company around. His Chrysler minivan, introduced in 1984, became one of the best selling vehicles in North America.
Chrysler products were soon coming off the assembly line in record numbers. On July 15, 1983, The New York Times carried this headline: “Chrysler’s Sharp Turnaround.” It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the turnaround. It was an amazing corporate comeback.
On June 2, 1996 Captain Scott O’Grady was flying a mission over Bosnia. Suddenly a surface-to-air missile hit his plane and sheared it in two. Intuitively, he pulled the ejection rod and within seconds was going down in his parachute over hostile territory.
For six days Captain O’Grady valiantly survived off the land and evaded the belligerent Bosnians. By the fifth day he was out of water and eating ants and leaves in order to sustain his life. What he didn’t know was that the United States military was making plans and preparations for a gigantic rescue operation.
The recovery of Captain O’Grady was scheduled for the early morning. As the fog lifted he heard the hollow, chopping sound of helicopters and within moments the rescue was complete.
However, the three remarkable comebacks mentioned above pale in comparison to the miraculous comeback of Jesus Christ. He was mercilessly scourged and died a cruel, ignominious death upon a cross – a horrible instrument of torture. He was then placed in a borrowed tomb where his body began to decompose and deteriorate.
But, go to the tomb of Jesus Christ! Men and angels shout, “He is not here, for He is risen. Come, see, the place where the Lord lay!”
Accept the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus as a fact and you will never doubt that He created the heavens and earth, that He fed the multitudes, walked on the waters, read the thoughts of the hearts of men, gave the blind their sight, the deaf their hearing, and the mad their reason.
He lived before He was born. He lived after He died. He always was. He is. He always will be. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
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