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Spoiler alert... Jesus wins

Embrace the uncertainty and excitement of life, resting on the hope we have in Jesus, says Phil Knox

One of the best things about being a dad of a six year old is reading your favourite stories to them each night and finding the right cliff hanger moment to declare, ‘Bedtime!’ My son, Caleb, and I are midway through The Chronicles of Narnia, and each evening ends with the latest instalment.

Caleb is growing up in an age when entertainment is instant. He cannot fathom a time when there were four TV channels, a few hours of children’s TV a day, and on demand’ viewing consisted of putting a black box full of tape into a machine and listening to it whir as it wound to the start of the programme.

But even in our world of virtually unlimited entertainment, where you can customise your viewing to have what you want whenever you want it, there are some shared viewing experiences. I spent last Wednesday night in a busy pub watching the Manchester derby, sharing oohs’ and aahs’ with the crowd. Every Sunday night, I bite my nails on the emotional Line of Duty rollercoaster along with thousands of others. And apparently there’s a new Avengers film out…

My social media timeline for the last week has been dominated by two types of statuses: 1. Just been to see Avengers: Endgame. Absolutely amazing.” 2. Not seen Avengers: Endgame yet. No spoilers, please.” We don’t want to know how the story ends. Key plot details, spoilers, do what they say on the tin: they spoil the shared experience as the drama unfolds and prevent the racing of our hearts in the uncertainty of what happens next. 

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But is the same true of life? Do we crave the same drama as our own narrative unfolds? My sense is that in the tension between the assurance of a future hope and the excitement of not knowing how our lives will pan out, God has got it just right.

The gift of free will and the complexity of the world that God has created mean that life is rarely boring. Each day gives the opportunity for life in all its fullness, blessed with hope, joy, relationship and fun. It is also rarely short of challenge, pain and disappointment; we are Easter people in a Good Friday world. 

When I woke up today, I did not know what my day would hold. But at the same time, one of the great things about being a Christian is a certain future. Spoiler alert: I know how the story ends. I know with every sunset that we are a day closer to the time the whole cosmos is made new, when every wrong is made right, when my broken heart will burst with joy, no more hunger, no more thirst, and every tear wiped from every eye. As American evangelist Billy Graham once said: I’ve read the last page of the Bible; it’s all going to turn out all right.” The future belongs to Jesus.

This is the tension in which we must live. Life would be pretty dull if every day had a spoiler at its beginning. We are not pre-programmed robotic automatons. God gives us footprints to walk in, not a blueprint from start to finish. But we know what happens when the curtain falls on history. The King is coming. Today, may you embrace the uncertainty and excitement of life, but live in complete hope that there is an Endgame’ and everything is going to be better than okay. It’s going to be absolutely amazing. 

For the word of God says:

Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’]
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their Shepherd;
He will lead them to springs of living water.’ 
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

Revelation 7:15 – 17

About the author

Phil Knox is the head of mission to young adults at the Evangelical Alliance. He lives to see people come to know Jesus and Christians inspired and equipped to share their faith. He has a passion for his generation, the local church, loves learning and has degrees in law and mission and evangelism. Phil is married to Dani and they have two sons, Caleb and Jos. He is an avid runner and footballer, a proud Aston Villa supporter and battles a mild coffee addiction.

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