Personally I really loved the film, Zoë didn’t like it at all – said it was one of the worst things she’d ever seen. It was called No Country for Old Men, and it swept the board at the Oscars this year. And I am not going to give the end away except to say that when it ended – all around the cinema, there was a collective “What?” People didn’t ‘get’ the ending.
A Vicar friend told me years that if I wanted to imagine a world without God, I should see a film called Seven. It is a horrible film. The thing is, the ending of it is so shocking- because you’ve been preconditioned to expect a good ending, and you don’t get a good ending. Evil triumphs. It’s awful! I was kind of in shock for days after that film.
The thing is with these stories, we don’t want the film to have a bad ending, we don’t want to have evil triumphing. We want good and right to win the day. James Bond blows up the baddie’s lair. Hansel and Gretel push the witch in the oven, that kind of ending. Have you ever watched a film or a play or book – and at the end of it you shook your head and said, “NO – it’s not supposed to end that way! The story shouldn’t end like that.”
It’s not just in stories and films is it? In this world, people end up standing at a hospital bed or a graveside – and they say something very like that, too often. “It wasn’t supposed to end this way.” The story of a life. That’s why I think at funerals it’s such a shock, even though we know people die, we don’t want life to come to an end, yet it does. It’s so final and it’s terrible and that’s why the Bible calls death an enemy. The last enemy.
The Easter story doesn’t end at Good Friday, thank God! It doesn’t end with the whole of humanity including you and me being responsible for the death of the Son of God, and that’s it. The story is not just that God comes to earth and is rejected and is spat on and killed. If that’s where the story ends; well – it’s just a horrible story! It’s got the worst possible ending!
What a fantastic little word. A word spoken by the apostle Peter in the first sermon which kicked off the church of those who follow Jesus, he said the little word changes the whole course of history. The wonderful word that changes the story, the most important word. Have you noticed that it’s always this word that changes the story?
The detective twirls his moustache – looks around the parlour – he turns to all assembled in the room. We all thought the butler did it…but!
The woman thought no-one could love her now, the man she’d secretly longed for – already spoken for… but then, the sound of hoof beats – he’s coming up to the house…
The alien space ships are triumphant, the whole world is under their command but…..
I’m a Christ follower, and you should become one too (everyone should!) because of this word, in this verse in Acts 2:24. It says…..but…God raised him from the dead! But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him!
We Christians don’t just have the dying Saviour, and the dead saviour. Wonderful as that was. Even if he gives forgiveness. Even if he offers life to the thief on the next cross to him. If he couldn’t do it, he shouldn’t offer it. If he just lived and taught and died and stayed dead – what use is that?
This was not just another teacher! Not just a good man or a prophet! God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, to prove His claims that He really was the Son of God. Thank God for Easter!