Fairy tales often get a bad rap. They are passed off as childish and far too optimistic. But there is a reason why they still endure, and why every child loves a good fairy tale. Fairy tales stay with us because they mirror in a deep, intricate way who we are and with the Story of which we are a part.
Let’s consider the classic fairytale. There are four main characters: 1) the prince in shining armor, 2) the damsel/princess in distress, 3) the good King who is father of the damsel, and 4) the evil villain. The story usually goes that the princess is tricked into captivity by the Villain. The King offers his entire kingdom as a reward for her save return, but though many daring men try, none can rescue the Lady from the Villain’s grasp. But then the night prince in shining armor rides in, valiant and daring, charming and loving. He throws himself into the battle with great fervor, and saves the princess and receives the kingdom.
Does any of that ring a bell yet?
In the garden of Eden, God’s children, the bride of his Son, were tricked by an evil villain and were held captive by sin. God would give his kingdom to anyone who could save her, but no one was found worthy. But then Jesus came, dazzling in splendor, more fair than ten thousand. He would succeed where laws and the blood of goats and lambs and man’s good works could not. He took up arms against the great serpent (is it any wonder the villains in fairy tales often turn into dragons, or that it’s always a dragon who has captured a fair maiden?) and at the end of the age will defeat Satan and cast him into the lake of fire. Then Jesus will receive his Father’s kingdom and sit on the throne for ever and ever, and we will live happily ever after.
The equally crazy part is this: the princess is the hinge on which the receiving of the kingdom swings. Because the prince rescues the princess, he receives the kingdom. How valuable does that make the princess?
In Revelation 5, Jesus steps up to take the scroll from the hand of the Father, the scroll which will usher in the end of the age and the entrance of the kingdom of Heaven on earth. Listen to what those in heaven sing: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation”.
Because Jesus ransomed us, he is worthy to take the scroll. Because he saved us from captivity, he is able to receive the kingdom. We are the hinge. We are the qualifier, what makes Jesus worthy.
How valuable does that make us? Priceless.
“But Lord, I’m not worth that much. I can’t live the Christian life well, I doubt all of the time, I have trouble following you and hearing your voice, I don’t know where to go in life or how I’m going to do this. But I’m so weak and wretched!”
BUT NOTHING. Because of YOU, Jesus is worthy to receive his kingdom.
“Your truth wrecks me, Daddy. I feel so dark, and yet you say I’m lovely. I deserve so much punishment for turning from you, and yet you invite me into your chambers. I am undone. I am overwhelmed by your mercy and grace. In your sight I am chosen and precious… and it blows me away.”