There are almost 7000 movies on Netflix. And that’s only one of the dozen or so streaming services available. Right now we are awash in stories, narratives, and characters. As human beings, we’ve always loved stories, and technology transforms our living rooms into home theatres.
Personally, I enjoy movies that make me think, and allow me to be the ride along detective. The twist ending is a favourite device these days. That last act/scene where the bad guy turns out to be the good guy or the poor character turns out to be royalty. The movie included an avalanche of scenes that gave clues you simply didn’t see.
The whole story, through all its twists and turns, comes together in a new light suddenly. You may not have seen it coming, but when the twist comes it makes sense of everything else.
Much of Paul’s writing explains the twist ending of the gospel—which is Jesus. Paul connects the story of Jesus with the story of Israel and the rest of the world, showing how the gospel ties everything else together.
Look at Galatians 4:4-5;
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. (NRSV)
The fullness of time. The long story of Israel—God setting one nation apart, then one family line, then one family, then one person who represents all of humanity.
Jesus didn’t come because the law failed. He didn’t scrap all that had gone before to start a new story, he completed the story begun in Adam and Eve. In fact, the real beginning isn’t Genesis, it’s John 1, where we see that Jesus, the Father and Spirit have always existed in a perfect relationship. John tells us that Jesus became flesh to enter the story at the appointed time. He is the twist ending that makes history—his story—make sense.
Do we recognize Jesus as the twist ending for us? Is that part of the story that was missing in your life and mine that makes everything come together? Think of those places where Jesus is described as the capstone or cornerstone—not the stone that everything stands on, but the piece that makes all the others come together, makes everything neatly fit into place.
He completes not only your story, and mine, but the grand narrative of all of humanity—all the wars and dynasties and joy and pain in all of history. Jesus is not the ghost in the machine who comes from nowhere, but the twist ending the story was building to all along. And it is good news.