Bubba Watson’s victory in the Masters Golf Tournament this week reminded me of another Masters that ended on Easter Sunday.
This was one of those events that simply seems to stick in your mind.
In 1993 Bernhard Langer won the Masters for the second time. Though memorable for him, his winning the Masters for the second time wasn’t what sticks in my mind. I have never forgotten what he said. In fact, every time I see him I think about the 1993 Masters.
It was Easter Sunday, and Bernhard Langer led the tournament for the final day. When he walked off the eighteenth green, a CBS reporter asked the inevitable question: How does it feel to win your second green jacket?
His response made it memorable. He said: “It’s wonderful to win the greatest tournament in the world, but it means more to win on the day my Lord was raised from the dead.”
Later, Langer explained why he said what he did. “Basically, I wanted to thank God for allowing me to be at this place.” Anyone who has seen Augusta National would think he meant being at the Masters Tournament. He meant something different. He meant being where he was spiritually.
Bernhard Langer came to faith in Christ shortly after he won his first Masters in 1985. It happened when he was at a high point in his life. He remarked how unusual it was. Many people come to faith at a low point, but it was at one of the greatest times of his life. He had money, cars, two houses, and a young wife.
He also had a void that couldn’t be filled by material things.
He explains he came to know Christ after attending a Bible study with other golfers. He heard a golfer say you have to be spiritually born again and that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works. That concept was so radical that he had to read the Bible for himself.
“So I got my own Bible out and there it was in black and white. We’re saved by grace and not by our own deeds.”
As Bernhard’s four shot victory came to pass eight years later, he sensed a peace about it all and wanted to give God the glory.
His statement has helped others be bold about expressing the hope the resurrection brings. May you and I do the same.
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