Redemption’s Song

Say what you will about the movie, my favorite part of Return of the Jedi is the end: Darth Vader’s rredemption. Luke is determined through the entire movie to save his father–that there must be something good in him. And, as Vader confesses, Luke was right.

I have a friend who wrote recently about his frustration with Easter–that many Christians get too focused on death and resurrection. His point is that too often we view the purpose of the cross as being able to offer others “fire insurance”–that is, giving them the opportunity to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for them so that they can avoid going to hell.

And this is what Jesus did. His sacrifice made it possible for us as a sin-filled race to be reconciled with God so that we may spend eternity in His presence (otherwise pure holiness and tainted humanity could not be in proximity). But there is more to it than that. Jesus’ resurrection (as well as His entire life) made it possible for us to live more fully right now. On this side of Heaven.

The original Star Wars saga illustrates this in that those whose lives come in contact with the Force have the opportunity for a fuller life. Luke goes from whiny farm boy to saving the galaxy. Han’s smuggling days get transformed into heroic adventures with a beautiful princess by his side. Gambler Lando becomes another hero in the rebellion. And Vader…well, we’ve seen Vader’s transformation, albeit briefly.

This is Easter for us, though: we can live more fully. We can live adventurously (in the face of death) as we follow Jesus. We can save the world as we work towards justice and reconciliation. We can go up against the enemy with the intention to bring love into darkness because we know we have life ahead of us. It’s not just about feeling good ourselves or personal salvation; it’s about bringing the Kingdom here and now.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.

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~ by Dave on April 23, 2011.

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