We all heard them as kids,
and then we grew up and paid handsomely for the chance to take our kids to the animated versions: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Rip Van Winkle, Jack and the Beanstalk. Story after story, they have filled the imaginations of children for years. Then we got a little older and were told that life is no fairy-tale. In fact, we were told, fairy-tales don’t come true; so (fill in your own line here) keep your nose clean, keep your head down, and work hard.
Just about every fairy-tale follows a similar script: a beautiful prince or princess is placed under a curse by an evil being (witch, usually) and is enslaved by this curse. The king, whose daughter or son is the one enslaved, sends people to try and free her, all of whom fail, as the enemy is too clever. Finally one charming prince comes, whose love is true, and breaks the curse. At its heart, every fairy tale is a story of redemption. Whether it is a princess kissing a frog to release a prince from a curse or a prince kissing Snow White to break the spell, the moral of the story is always the same: pure love overcomes any evil. Why do you suppose our hearts are so drawn to creating and reading these kinds of stories? Because that’s our story.
The Bible is a complicated book to understand, but the entire narrative hangs from two dramatic peaks. After God has created His beautiful prince and princess, the first peak occurs in the Garden of Eden. The evil being tricks the princess into eating a forbidden piece of fruit (echoes of Snow White, anyone?). This places our star-crossed girl under a curse.
The King sends a brave man named Abraham to rescue them. Abraham takes a few hundred years to develop a great army named Israel, whose mission will be to defeat the enemy and release the princess from the curse. Alas, this army is crushingly defeated by the evil being (we’ll call him satan), with many killed and most of the others enslaved.
However, a small rag-tag group escapes and stumbles home to lick their wounds. One of this remnant bears a Son, whose heart is pure and whose strength is magnificent. This Son is also completely devoted to the princess who is enslaved. After some time passes, the Son goes back to confront the evil being and to win back His princess. He tricks the enemy into committing the one act that will reverse the curse, which is to kill the Son. This is the second dramatic peak on which the story hangs. Just when things seem utterly hopeless, the Son returns from the dead, having robbed the evil one of all of his power and authority. The Son then breaks the curse that enslaves His princess, allowing her to live again! Of course a wedding will follow shortly thereafter.
Deep inside of each of us, these stories resonate; because (as King Solomon put it) God has placed eternity in our hearts. We know that we were the one under the curse and could only be set free by a hero driven by pure love. We also dare to dream that we could be the one who goes on the next mission to free another prince or princess who is still under the spell of death. Our story, in its simplest form is about a King, a curse, and a cross… redemption! So, don’t be too quick to tell your kids that fairy-tales don’t come true. Yours did!