As with many families with small children, here we are this night of Good Friday, celebrating by just doing the things we would be doing any other day. Toys are strewn about, snack leftovers are on the table, and the TV is playing in the living room. As my kids fall off to sleep, I’m now the only one awake in this dark room, the sole spectator to the end of Return of the Jedi. As I watch Darth Vader and Luke’s dramatic lightsabre duel and Vader’s ultimate turn back to good, I find something in the film’s emotions calling my mind back to Christ. I remember a time many years ago, the same year that Star Wars: Episode III came out. I remember saying to myself, “Vader was looking for immortality through evil, power, and medical treatments…and he never found it…until he gave up his life to save Luke.” Something in the idea would not let me go, and before the year was out, I knew my heart was calling out to Christ. I was sensing something I would later hear and know more clearly from the scriptures: Jesus’ words “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)
That idea is at the heart of salvation. It was so important to Jesus that He repeated it 5 separate times in the scriptures, with an additional paraphrase in the book of John. While I no longer remember much of Episode III (after all, it’s been over 10 years now!), I vividly remember having that thought. And I absolutely remember, in the months that followed, giving up my own life of sin, losing it, dieing, and finding Christ alive in its place.
A lot of people worry about losing the meaning of Easter in all the commercialism and informality that surrounds it now. And these are valid fears. But I never let it worry me. I have found, in my own time, that Christ is very skillful at rescuing and bringing home the hearts that are searching for Him.
God bless you all, and have a very happy Easter.
Luke 17:33, Matthew 10:29, Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, John 12:25; Luke 19:10.
For those without access to a Bible, many versions are available free online at Biblegateway.com.