This time two thousand and sixteen years ago, Jesus rose from the dead.
Let’s imagine this story we’re all so familiar with is a tale in a comic series. You know the one: good and evil are engaged in a long, vicious fight that has lasted centuries. Finally, in a bid to bring the War of Never Ending to a, well…end, good casts its lot and a Saviour is born. *Cue angels singing hallelujah* The Saviour is widely recognised by Team Good, they know He’s the one who will save the day. He proves this by winning a couple of battles and possessing the requisite superhero powers. But in a low, unexpected blow, Team Evil manage to capture and kill the Saviour and all is lost. Evil wins, Good goes home. The End.
…Said no good screenwriter ever! EVERYONE knows that Good always wins, even when it seems as though Evil has won. Let’s see (potential spoiler alert), Iron Man makes it back through that ridiculously tiny hole in Avengers and Optimus Prime manages to make a comeback. But two thousand and sixteen years ago, no one thought that Team Good had won. Actually, they were all used to Greek mythology in which even heroes like Hercules rarely had the perfect ending – so they did NOT see this one coming, at all. Satan too thought he had gotten rid of the Saviour, Jesus, forever. He thought his dastardly plan to thwart God and bring about a reign of terror and darkness had actually worked (mwahahahahaha). But then Jesus came back to life and in doing so, He neutered Satan’s evil powers. Just imagine, you’re the evil genius, you think you’ve won and then your arch nemesis comes back FROM THE DEAD stronger than before and has taken your powers! Can somebody say plot twist?!
I would go as far as to say the original plot twist and I would also say that every Good vs. Evil story has applied the biblical principle of good always winning to its plot. Disney, hello?! But that’s a debate for another time…the comments below maybe? Because now you and I have a chance at this thing called life. We don’t have to be held captive to the darkest parts of our lives anymore and we don’t have to live under the heavy guilt that is the consequence of our sinful nature. We don’t even have to have a sinful nature anymore. By dying and then rising from the dead, Jesus took part in the single most important event in history (so important that our calendars are based on this event) and changed the rules of the game. He restored our relationship with God and gave us a chance to be adopted into His royal family. Now we get to live forever. You may have just taken a mental step back like, “woah Deborah, I don’t remember that being part of the Easter story”, but it is. Before Jesus, we were all doomed to certain death and that reign of terror and darkness but now, because of a move of love and power, we’re entitled to a light filled life that we get to live forever. Checkmate.
I, for one, am so grateful. As I look back and play the “this-time-two-thousand-and-sixteen-years-ago” game, I am so glad that God was clever enough to think of the game changer and that Jesus was humble and obedient enough to take one for the team. I am so thankful that the cross is now a place that I can look to and see the greatest declaration of love, a place to which I can take my shame, insecurities and addictions and leave whole and truly alive.
Happy Easter friends,