The greatest story ever told
I watched Wonder Woman this past week…twice! I loved it that much. It was a movie characterized by a great story that was well-told and well-paced, had great character development, compelling character interactions, addressed themes common to people’s everyday experience, and had an emotional impact not frequently seen in superhero movies. It was one of those movies that can inspire a sense of optimism and desire for grandeur in the mind of its viewer; where, upon self-reflection, a viewer can feel like his own life is duller and less interesting by comparison.
The feeling, that one’s own life is not as exciting or inspiring as the lives of characters seen in movies, television shows, anime, books, etc., is one that I experience whenever I watch or read a really great story that is compelling, relatable, emotional, impactful, and is filled with great characters exuding the same qualities. The feeling really is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you are so happy you got to experience that story and all its emotional “feels”; on the other hand, you might be less satisfied with your own life by comparison. Thankfully, whether for better or worse, those feelings subside after a while, only to surface again after the next amazing, compelling story in the future!
The reason I bring this up is because in the midst of those feelings, that one’s life is duller and less interesting than some amazing story and character’s life just witnessed, one might often wish that his own life was as amazing as some character’s he just saw. We can often wish that our own lives were part of some great story and were more amazing on their own. As Christians, we must remember this riveting truth: our lives are great and amazing because we are a part of the greatest story ever told, by the greatest author to ever be. It’s the story of a King whose subjects hate, despise, and want nothing to do with him; yet, this King chooses to love his people and determines to save them from their slavery and bondage to their own evil nature. It’s the story of how this King, like the greatest of mystery authors, alludes to and foreshadows his plan to save throughout all of history. It’s the story of how this King condescends to the level of his rebellious, evil subjects and gives his life to redeem them from their bondage to sin. It’s the story of how the King’s redeemed people strive to glorify and honor their King through their lives. It’s the story of the King saving his rebellious people, not because they deserve it, but for his own glory. It’s the story of how the redeemed people are caught up in the amazing love exchange among Godhead. It’s the story of how the King’s subjects are the greatest of benefactors because they have been caught up in this divine love triangle. My friends, it’s the story of God’s purpose throughout the history of creation, ultimately pointing all things to Himself and for His glory. It’s the story characterized by the greatest plot development, as God’s plan of salvation through Christ is teased throughout all of Scripture. It’s the story characterized by the greatest love for a people, greatest redemption of a people, greatest response by a people, and the greatest ending for a people. It’s the story whose ending is the greatest happily ever after to ever be, with God’s people existing in God’s presence and for his glory for all eternity. It’s the story that is so great and multifaceted that it is described in many ways and from many angles just to capture its essence. It’s the greatest story ever told, by the greatest author to ever be; and if you are a Christian, you are right in the midst of it!
As Christians, we are in the greatest story ever told, by the greatest author to ever be. We are right in it as seen throughout all of Scripture:
"I will surely bless you [Abraham], and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” – Genesis 22:17-18
We are among those blessed by the greatest offspring of Abraham, Jesus Christ.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:1-7
We are those who were dead in our trespasses and sins, but whom God made alive through Christ.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
We are those who are new creations in Christ, and who strive to live for Him.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”…. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. – Revelation 21:1-4, 22:3-5
We are those who will dwell with God, in his presence and for his glory, for all eternity.
My friends, as Christians we needn’t wish our lives to be a part of a greater story, as we might feel inclined to after seeing the exploits of some amazing characters in some amazing movie. We are a part of the greatest story ever told, by the greatest author to ever be, and we can live our lives with satisfaction knowing who we are in Christ. In these great stories we may observe in movies or shows, the story and characters’ lives are great because they typically end with peaks. They don’t show as much of the mundane and low points that would typically characterize one’s life. However, in Christ, every moment of every day for a Christian can be a peak because Christ is in it. We can find satisfaction in even the most mundane moments of our lives when we live every moment seeking Christ and His glory. So, let us praise God for the story he has let us be a part of. Let us strive to seek Christ always and do everything we do, every moment of every day, for His glory. This is the story we’re privileged to be a part of.