Tragedy. It’s an interesting thing. I watched an episode of Doctor Who. I like the show. A lot of thinking goes into the stories. But this episode was sad, in the end, the hero—oddly not the doctor—looses everything: his friends, his girlfriend, he even finds out that his mom died from some stupid alien thing. The only happy ending of it was that his girlfriend was turned into an immortal piece of tile—with whom he has a deep, although weird, relationship. I hated it. I wanted the villain to loose and good to triumph. I wanted the lovable character and his lovable friends to have a good ending.
But they didn’t. I can’t even blame the British. Blast.
But it got me thinking. (Which, as any fan of film can tell you, is a dangerous pastime.) I’m a Christian, and tragedy is a very, well not anti—because that word and Christian have VERY huge ties—but at least opposite-Christian. Tragedy is the fact that the hero or heroine has something taken from them by the villain whoever or whatever that may be and nothing can make it right again. Romeo and Juliet loose their families and each other. Caesar is murdered. Those two ladies drive off a cliff. The guy’s girlfriend is now a talking piece of tile and his friends are all dead. It’s great drama and all—the hero looses the girl. The villain though properly defeated still wounds, stabs, steals from the hero—and nothing can make it right again.
In a way, the Christian story is very much like that—The villain, sin and it’s ridiculous underling Satan (Sorry, but I really hate the hyped up stupid nonsense of the Satan type—for crying out loud, he’s the drugged out drug peddler—he’s had a bit too much of his own product, and is the worst slave of sin the world has ever known. Still hate him and all, peeps, but don’t give him too much credit. He doesn’t deserve it. Anyway, back to my sentence.) The villain, sin, took what was best and bravest and most glorious—the perfect man Christ Jesus—and it brutally murdered Him. In the most gruesome way possible, sin destroyed the only one that made sense of it all—the only hope for mankind.
But on the cross, Jesus Christ won. If it was just a silly movie and not actual historical fact, it would be downright ludicrous—Imagine, the hero being stabbed in the heart by the villain and as he slumps to the floor, smiling and saying, “I win.” But on the cross, the Savior of the world did just that. He cried out, “It is finished.” It wasn’t “I am finished” or “game over” or “we lost.” As He died, He cried out in victory; in the face of sin’s greatest victory, He won.
He proved it three days later; He rose from the dead. He raised Himself from the dead. Death, Sin’s greatest weapon and right hand man, was defeated as easily as a man telling his butler he’s going out for a walk. The enemies of man, sin and death, were defeated soundly in their moment of greatest triumph—and because of it, anyone can have that same victory. That’s the Christian message.
Epic? Definitely. Loving? YES! Wonderful? Beyond anything in the world or universe! But tragic? Oh no, not even close.
So you know what, Comedy—I think God’s behind that. He gave us a sense of humor and proportion. Drama—that too. God’s given us the sense of seriousness to life. Love stories—God is love. The Epic—HA! God invented it! The story in the Bible is about the Epic Love that transcends the wickedness of man and what it took for the righteous, holy God to bring wicked, sinful man back to Himself.
But not tragedy. God is just—all wrongs will be made right again. All loses are temporary; the villains, even in their most depraved triumphs, are really defeated. And anyone that wants too can be part of the greatest story ever told, the story of how God has made a way for mankind to come to Him.
But now that I think off it; there is a loss that is permanent. There is a Biblical tragedy: the rebels—real people; not those in a story book—who cry against the things of God and Jesus Christ. They don’t want the salvation offered to them—they won’t take it. They want God to work on their terms, to accept their sin, to not be just and true, like He is. And they are heading just where they’ve chosen too, hell. Now that’s tragic. And what’s even worse, it’s unnecessary.
So Doctor Who tried a tragedy; Shakespeare did too. There is a whole industry to the fact—but there is only one real tragedy—rejecting Jesus Christ. It’s pointless. It’s sad. I hate to see it. People, real live people, walking away from hope, freedom, salvation, and love! Each day they go off into a Christ-less eternity. It’s the saddest thing about this stupid sin-cursed world. I hate it!