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  • Writer's picturePastor Karl Hauser

The Greatest Story

Every story has a beginning middle and an end.  A better one has good characters and settings.  The great stories all have a climax in which the fate of the hero, and of all humanity, is at risk of failing.

What is the Easter story and why is it called the greatest story ever told?  Well it has all the parts needed—a grand setup and promise of hope, a series of missteps and misplaced pride in some of the fallen characters and ultimately a great evil that pervades the land.  But really what makes a story is the hero.  The hero rises up from the people, with the ability to rectify all that is wrong, and to bring the world back to that place of peace.  Like so many movies, video games, and books there is prophesy in the Bible foretelling the coming of the ultimate hero who will save the people who are otherwise doomed.

I love The Lord of the Rings stories by J.R.R. Tolkien.  They start very peacefully and serenely in the gardens of the countryside.  But there are whispers of a growing evil, a foe whose army grows stronger by the day and poses the gravest of dangers to everyone.  As the fellowship of individuals sets forth, they are tasked with destroying the simplest of trinkets, a small ring.  But it must be destroyed in the fires of the volcano from where it was forged. Beset by monsters, evil forces within and without, they finally, barely, make it up the deadly mountain.  The two last members of the fellowship stand at the precipice of lake of fire.  Will the young Frodo be able to give up the ring of power which has slowly corrupted him?  Will the weakness from the many trials weaken his resolve?  This is the climax; will Frodo be the hero we yearn for?  Or will he succumb to the evil?

While Tolkien may object to the analogy, Frodo bears a strong resemblance to Jesus.  Jesus, beset by his own trials and tribulations and dying on the cross is faced with a test: will he remain faithful to the end, or will he succumb to the evil in the world defeated?  When Jesus dies, it confirms he is not the hero.  The momentum dies out, the story seems over, the hearer is dismayed for the ultimate victory has been snatched away.

The sorrow lasts for a night, a day and another night.  Until at last, on that third day, the tomb is empty!  He is risen! Jesus is the hero indeed!  With might and power, he has indeed accomplished all the prophesy said he would. Easter is the climax of God’s story!

Easter is a reminder that through the other 364 days of the year we are beset by trials and hardships, but at least on this one day we are reminded that Jesus has indeed triumphed and freed us from sin and death.  We are free, and granted the peace our hearts desire.

         Pastor Karl


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