I mentioned on Sunday that you need to follow @restoringall on Instagram. You may recall that I showed a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien that was posted on Saturday: “The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue.”
Tolkien believed that one of the most amazing things about the gospel was how it brought everything that was best from fairy tales and dropped them right into historical fact. Tolkien wasn’t bothered that the gospel would sound like a fiction. Our stories have always expressed the deepest desires of the human heart–so why shouldn’t the real story salvation fulfill those in the most wonderful way possible?
It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that this overwhelming statement of joy shows up in Tolkien’s own fiction. At the very end of his epic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee awakens to see someone whom he had believed was dead. He hears laughter and sees everyone happy around him. As joy overtakes him, he exclaims: “Is everything sad going to come untrue?”
The book of Revelation reminds us that while evil isn’t fully explained, it is surrounded by the present and active love of Christ. (That line comes from Eugene Peterson in this book, by the way.) As Tolkien put it: our story “begins and ends with joy.” Our gospel text from Sunday reminded us that nothing can snatch us away from God. The resurrection gives us the reason to believe that this is true!