The Greatest Story

Once upon a time, people lived in a perfect world. (for real) Imagine a wonderful moment from your life. Any moment will do. The Christmas when you were six and Santa brought that blue bicycle instead of socks and underwear, for instance. Or maybe that Tuesday evening in October when all five of your teenagers made it to the supper table at the same time and then talked your ear off until long past bedtime. Oh, wait. Those are my moments.

Anyway, imagine your moment. Now multiply it by the biggest number you know. You aren’t even close to how perfect the world used to be. Now, back to our story.

Just when things were going great, evil appeared. (As it has in every epic since.) This time is was Satan, who couldn’t be satisfied with his status as mighty-angel-and-servant-of-God. He wanted to be in charge. He wanted to be worshipped. So, he told the First Big Lie to people. He said that God wasn’t good and that God’s way wasn’t best. (Satan still tells the same old lie in a million new ways.)

And then, the ultimate sadness. People believed him. This led to a broken relationship and a broken world. Cheating on God was the first crime in history. And it held the greatest penalty. Death entered the perfect world and spoiled it for every living thing.

Now, here is where the story gets great. Enter the hero. His name is Jesus. He came into the world a few thousand years later as a baby, born into all the brokenness and destined to live and die like everyone else. Yet, not like everyone else at all. Jesus walked the dusty roads and heard the ancient words of prophecy just like everyone else. But somewhere along the way, He unraveled the sacred mystery. He was born to break the curse! He was The Cure for everything wrong in the world.

All He had to do was live perfectly and love completely. Then die a gruesome death. So, He did. Jesus died bloody and battered and let Satan think he’d won. For three. Whole. Days.

But, on the third day … feel the crescendo…yes, the third day… wait for it… the world became perfect again!

Oh, we can’t see it clearly yet, because we aren’t living in the fullness of time. But ever since Jesus came out of the grave and called Mary Magdalene by name, we’ve been catching glimpses of the glory. And one of these days, everything really will be made new. When that happens, those of us who have taken our place in the Story will finally live happily ever after. For real.