Over spring break, my mom took us to see the new Beauty and the Beast. For anyone who is not familiar with the story, you can read a brief description and watch the preview HERE.   The tale is one of my favorites for two reasons.  First, it is a story of love—not the easy, mushy, love-at-first-site commonly portrayed in movies, but the deep, true, sacrificial love that is only obtained when one gives of oneself for another.

Second, it is a story of redemption, restoration, and new beginnings.  Just before the closing scene, all seems lost.  Time has run out; the tender Beast has been killed; the enchanted castle and its staff are doomed to remain lifeless, forgotten knickknacks, and Belle sits weeping in despair.  Everything seems dark and incredibly hopeless.  But then, with the whisper of Belle’s “I love you,” the curse is broken.  A marvelous light fills the room; the Beast is not only brought back to life but restored to his human form; the staff returns to their able bodied human selves, and the foreboding castle is transformed into a light-filled, elegant palace decorated to its finest.  There is laughter, hugging, dancing, joy, light, newness, and beauty everywhere. It is simply marvelous!

What made this scene even more moving in the new version was witnessing this restoration occur with human actors rather than cartoon characters.  It was more real, more tangible.  I was overwhelmed as I considered that this beautiful fairy tale ending was just a small taste of the true and complete restoration awaiting us in heaven. Jesus, in the greatest act of sacrificial love ever known, died on the cross in our place—He took the punishment we sinners deserve. Then, as we celebrated on Easter Sunday, Jesus rose again!  He broke the curse of sin and death, proved He was who He said He was, and displayed His power to fulfill all His promises.  God will indeed make all things new!  

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Revelation 21:1-5).

May you reflect on this promise this Easter season and may your spirit be renewed in the hope of what is to come.  Far greater joy and beauty awaits those who trust in Jesus than Disney could ever imagine! 

By Katie Miller

 

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