To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5–6)
There are at least two things that most people really like: stories and reality.
Most of us, if we’re honest, crave a good, deep, interesting story. We like all the elements that go into making it so captivating — conflict, climax, resolution, and all the action in between. Whether set in the 18th century revolutionary France or centered on a high school science teacher who gets an incurable disease, if it’s a good story, we’ll watch.
But we also like reality. We have an inherent appreciation for what is real — and unashamedly put forth as so. We might have an interest in stories about teenage vampires, but at the end of the day, we want reality, even in its grittiest details. There are television ratings to prove it. We still like to watch real people cook in a kitchen, or exercise to lose weight, or live together in the same house. So we like the real stuff, too.
Then They Collide
So what if this appreciation for a good story and for reality collided? What if we had an amazing story that is also as real as you and me?
We do. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, our longing for story and reality are meant to point us here — to the greatest, truest story of all, the story of God’s love in the gospel of his Son. This is the news of God, the real God, who created everything and went to unimaginable lengths to make sinners his saints. It is marvelous and wonderful beyond our wildest dreams.
Our Eternal Song
God came to us. In the person of Jesus, God put on human flesh and came to love us, sinners condemned, unclean. He came to this earth and walked in our shoes. In all the ways that we have been tempted, Jesus was tempted. In all the pressures we have felt, Jesus felt. But he never wavered. He never fell. He was true and righteous and faithful —for us. And then in his great love, he went to the cross. He went to die for us, bearing our sins and our sorrows as if they were his own, taking them to Calvary where he suffered and died alone in our place.
Jesus was dead and buried for us. But then on the third day, just as it was promised, Jesus was raised from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated, even right now, at the right hand of the Father. He has sent his Spirit and commissioned his church to spread his good news over all the earth until the day when he returns and makes all things new.
It will be on that day when, with all the ransomed in glory, we will see his face. We will look upon the one who has loved us to the uttermost. We will see him and we will say, To you, Lord Jesus, to you be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! (Revelation 5:13). And then, as part of the greatest, truest story of all, we will sing: “how marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me!”