A Perfect Love Story
The last couple of weeks I’ve been watching an old film while doing my ironing. It was a film based on Jane Austin’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’. I knew I’d enjoy it since I’d watched it a few years ago on TV. This time I had a DVD of it gifted me by my husband. I tore open the wrapper, slid the DVD in and started watching – my hands occupied with the domestic necessities of freshly washed clothes, an iron and an ironing board.
The story was set in the late 18th century. The main characters in the story were Eleanor and Marianne Dashwood whose father died as the story began, leaving them penniless. Their path to finding true love was fraught with much difficulty but its conclusion was what I’d hoped for. It was my kind of love story. Characters I could fully identify with. Plenty of drama. And best of all, the perfect ending.
I like happy endings. Don’t you? After the film came to and end and I’d wiped away my tears (happy tears of course), I discovered I still had more ironing to do. And so I picked up a chick flick I’d borrowed from the library. That too was a love story of sorts. But as it turned out – it wasn’t my kind.
The story was set in the present. It was about two different sets of relationships both which went sour as the story began. I found it exceedingly difficult to identify with the characters. For one thing their language appalled me. For another their morals seemed very foreign to me. I began to wonder if I was a creature from the past. Whether I belonged in the 18th century and not in the 21st century world. Life in the past seemed much less complicated. And far more pleasing – at least in the world of romance.
Love stories then were truly love stories. Not the modern scenarios of girls who jump into bed with boys the first time they meet. Made me reflect on the ingredients which usually make up a good love story. A storyline that goes like this: Boy meets girls. Fate conspires to keep them apart. Much heartache and difficulty ensues. Finally fate brings them back together and they get together. A happy ending. Right?
I’d like today to consider the greatest love story ever told. It sounds a little like the plot I’ve shared but it is far more intricate; the depths of love offered far more amazing.
A Creator God created a perfect world. He made man in his own image – desiring close fellowship with him. It was the ideal beginning. Man and Woman – living together with a God who loved and cared for them. Unfortunately, that perfect beginning didn’t last long. Man wasn’t satisfied with his perfect wife, his perfect setting and his perfect life. He wanted more. Man (and woman) desired to be equal with God. Wrong call.
The consequence was a world gone awry. A world stained with sin. Death walked in. God and His Creation were separated. A solution was needed to reconcile God with His creation. In walks our Hero. The Hero of this love story deserved a perfect life. Instead, He was put to death on a cross – not because of his sin but in spite of it. He was made to suffer not because he deserved it but because we did. He was buried in a tomb not because he was defeated but because death was the precursor to LIFE!
Two days later, the miracle happened. Death could not hold him down. He, the Author of Life, defeated death for all time. He burst forth from the grave. Resurrected. Whole. The Lord and Saviour of all Mankind. He now holds everything together in His Hands.
Yes, there was nothing normal about this love story.
Not one boy meets one girl. But One Amazing God who created us.
Not two equal beings in an equal partnership.
But the great God of the Universe who stooped down to bring us back to Himself.
And the ending? The perfect ending is on its way. God’s new Kingdom was inaugurated over 2000 years ago when Jesus came to earth. His birth, death and resurrection were what started that story book ending. It was a love that didn’t count the cost. A love that gave its all. A love that died a horrendous death so that you and I might live. Forever.
This love story is the greatest one ever told. I can guarantee you that it is one that has, not simply a happy ending but a thrilling one. One that reconciles us to God. What it asks of us is a willingness to take Jesus and His claims seriously. It demands a response. A response to the greatest lover of all time. Jesus.