Three Scripted Words
CBN.com I’ve always loved drama. From the time I was a little girl, sitting in front of a black-and-white TV, I knew that movies, scripts and music could reach down inside and grab a part of the soul that few things could ever touch.
By the time I was a teenager, I knew the power of the stage, the power of scripted words. And nothing proved it better than Frank Zeffirelli’s movie Romeo and Juliet. The story. The costumes. The music. The words. I was captivated! I must have watched it a hundred times, yet every time it was as if I were seeing it afresh, anew.
My heart danced the night Romeo and Juliet danced—their faces and their lives hidden behind the masks, falling into a forbidden love. A love of good and evil.
Two sides. Two families. The Capulets and the Montagues.
You know the story. Romeo and Juliet fall in love, secretly marry and spend one night together. The next day, Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin in a battle between their families, and then must escape to save his life. Unaware of his daughter’s marriage, Juliet’s father decrees that she will marry another man.
Afraid to reveal the truth, Juliet meets with the priest and together they devise a plan that will allow the couple to be together forever. It is a foolproof plan. With the help of a sleeping potion, Juliet will feign death, and two days later, Romeo will return to the city and retrieve her from the tomb after she awakes. They will escape to live their life of love together, and no one will ever know the truth. A messenger is sent to deliver the details of the perfect plan to Romeo.
But before the messenger reaches him, Romeo hears the terrible news that his beloved wife has died. So he devises his own plan—to join her in death. He mounts his horse and takes off for the city. Juliet’s messenger and Romeo pass each other in the night. The grieving husband continues toward death, unaware of the truth.
It is a fateful mistake.
Romeo arrives, locates the tomb and—thinking his true love is dead—drinks his own poison in an effort to join her. Death comes quickly, and Romeo falls across his wife’s body. Moments later, Juliet awakens to find her Romeo dead. Unable to imagine life without her husband, she tries to drink from Romeo’s vial, but finds it empty. She eagerly kisses her still-warm lover, hoping to find poison on his lips. When she finds none, she grabs his sword and thrusts it into her own body.
Her blood drips to the ground.
I sat there in the theater, my eyes glued to the screen, my body jerking with the sobs of emotion—unable to see the images through the tears filling my eyes and streaming down my face. My heart was broken for the two lovers, the two innocents who were merely on opposite sides of a battle, a battle they hadn’t chosen.
Joint funerals unite the city. The music and visuals carry us through the pain and agony.
Two families. Two sides. Joined in grief. Good and evil, exposed in death.
A voice cries from the screen.
“All . . . are . . . punished!”
Three scripted words, spoken to bring the emotion of the story to one pivotal moment. It works. I grieve, along with the Capulets and the Montagues. I can hardly stand it.
And it’s only a movie.
But 2,000 years ago, there was another script, another drama. Two families. Two sides. Good and evil. God and Satan.
Jesus knew the story by heart. Before time began, He sat down with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the three of Them wrote the script—scene by scene, line by line, word by word.
Directed by the words of the prophets, the story unfolds. The cast—often without their knowledge—follows the plan and brings the story to its pre-ordained conclusion. No actors. No lines to learn, no songs to sing. Because this time, it’s real.
The story—although a script—is true.
But this drama wasn’t written to generate emotion; it was written to bring freedom and new life for all mankind.
Good and evil. God’s love and man’s sin.
The plan was perfected. The script was written. The only way to unite a holy God and unholy man was through the sacrifice of a perfect, sinless lamb—Jesus. He would have to die. But in this drama, the death would be real. The pain would be real. The blood would be real.
No sleeping potion to feign death. No escape from the Father’s decree. Sin required a blood sacrifice, and Jesus willingly signed up for the part. After all, He was the only One who qualified. He was the only One without sin.
His blood fell to the ground.
But the story doesn’t end there. Because from the cross, at the height of His suffering, Jesus cried the three words scripted thousands of years before:
“It . . . is . . . finished!”
Three words, spoken to bring the sin of man to one pivotal moment. It works. I grieve, along with the sinners and the saved. I can hardly stand it.
Jesus, the sinless Grace-giver, received no grace that dark and mournful day. But because of His sacrifice, we—an unholy people—are united with a holy God.
All are not punished!
Only one is punished, but all can be forgiven! He simply asks that we believe the story. He simply asks that we believe and accept the truth of the story:
Jesus is God’s Son.
We are sinners.
We can’t be good enough to get to heaven on our own.
We need a Savior.
That Savior is Jesus.
He is the sacrifice for our sin.
He took the punishment we deserve.
It . . . is . . . finished!
End of story. No checks and balances. No keeping a list of rules. No weighing our good deeds against our bad.
Satan’s mask is removed. His power is overcome—and the Deceiver isn’t happy. So he tells us it won’t work. He tells us we’re not good enough, that we can’t measure up.
And he’s right—we aren’t and we can’t.
But these are merely half-truths! The whole truth is, God knows we aren’t good enough and that we can’t measure up: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). That’s why He sent Jesus—to contribute His half of the story. Because His half of the story completes the truth: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).
Did you get that? These two halves do make a whole! They make the whole truth: Everyone who calls on the name of our precious Lord will be saved! You just have to believe and accept the story. Do you? Do you believe the script that was written before time began?
If so, you can have eternal life by simply accepting the role you play in this drama. Yes, the punishment for sin will be paid. Either we allow Jesus to pay it for us, or we pay it ourselves in eternity.
Please know this: God doesn’t keep us out of heaven. Unbelief does. And God doesn’t want us to be miserable. Satan does.
We simply choose which script we want to follow: “All are punished!” or “It is finished!”
Excerpted from Seeing Through the Lies, © 2008 by Vonda Skelton. Published by Regal Books, www.regalbooks.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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