Easter and the Power of Stories
Humans have always loved stories. We love to watch victory snatched out of the jaws of defeat, to see the forces of light fight back the darkness, to see the hero emerge triumphant after he or she has endured many trials. We love to see the princess rescued, the dragon defeated, and the treasure found. I am reminded of this as a father as I introduce my children (as any responsible parent should) to the great stories of our world - to places like Narnia, Middle Earth and Oz and to people like Lucy Pevensie, Aragorn, and the Tin Man.
Why is it that we all resonate with good stories so deeply? Perhaps it is because the best stories are all a reflection of the one Great Story - the story of the Gospel, the story of Easter. All of the great stories point us to The Story of Jesus - of Jesus dying and then coming back from the grave; of the surprise of Mary, John and Peter as they encountered their friend, Conqueror of Death and King of the World, in resurrection might - the Story of the Scripture and the people of God.
Some of our greatest Christian story-tellers have understood this. For example, J.R.R. Tolkien writes in his incredible essay “On Fairy Stories”: “The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories…There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many skeptical men have accepted as true on its own merits…But this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused.” And, Frederick Buechner writes in Telling the Truth that “the whole point of the fairy tale of the Gospel is that he is the king in spite of everything. The frog turns out to be the prince, the ugly duckling the swan, the little gray man who asks for bread the great magician with the power of life and death in his hands, and though the steadfast tin soldier falls into the flames, his love turns out to be fireproof. There is no less danger and darkness in the Gospel than there is in the Brothers Grimm, but beyond and above all there is the joy of it, this tale of a light breaking into the world that not even the darkness can overcome.”
Will you enter into the True Story of the world with us this Easter? Let’s tell the story and sing the story and listen to the story again. Let’s celebrate that good has conquered evil, that the Dragon has been slain, that our Hero and Savior has come back from death as the Victor, and that the world will be made new again. Let’s look at the brokenness all around us and believe that Jesus reigns still. Let’s encourage one another with the Story of Resurrection and Life. Let’s believe and let’s rejoice.