Spoiler alert! As I move forward in these Once Upon a Time posts, there may be cases where I give away the endings to certain episodes. So if you have yet to watch the episode, put off reading it until you have. This post corresponds to episode 2: The Thing you love Most.
I don’t envy Henry. He has the daunting task of convincing everyone in Storybrooke that they are all Fairy Tale characters under the curse of an evil queen. However, he has taken to this seemingly impossible task with joy and hope that a reluctant Emma will actually come through and save the day. How futile his hope seems, yet how urgent the need for this truth in Storybrooke.
The consequence of the truth
One cannot help but wonder at the opposing possibilities at this stage in the show. Two options- both have massive implications for Henry and the rest of the town. On one hand, Henry could be 100% right: everyone is actually a character from the book and the queen must be defeated in order to ensure Happily Ever After. If Henry is right, then it’s imperative that the town believes him and stands up against the queen. But what if Henry is wrong? Then everything that he has done– getting his birth mom to come, disobeying his adoptive mom, his attempts at convincing others– will have been in vain. There is no chance of, “well at least we had a good time” if he is wrong about this. His correctness in this matter means life or death for the inhabitants of Storybrooke.
Not in vain
Paul hammers a similar point home in 1 Corinthians 15.12-19:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
For us, there is no hope to say, “If we’re wrong, at least we lived a moral life.” If we are wrong about the gospel of Jesus, we are to be most pitied. My life has been wasted if Jesus is not who He said He was. Later on in this same chapter, Paul will tell us that if Christ has not been raised, we should continue eating and drinking to our hearts’ content for “tomorrow we die” and it doesn’t matter!
But it does matter. Jesus did come; He died; He rose again from the dead to assure our hope in Him. And why? So that we could come to Him and trust in what is ultimately important- His finished work at the cross. And He brought change! The moment He stepped foot on this earth, Jesus began a change in this world; He defeated sin and death and they are being conquered daily. Like Emma in Once Upon a Time, Jesus stood up to our greatest enemy and began change in individuals and our situations. But ultimately, this change will only be defeated when we are able to say, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory.” O death, where is your sting?”; when Jesus returns and finalizes what He started nearly 2000 years ago.
This is part three in an ongoing series on finding the themes of Scripture in the television series Once Upon a Time. For previous posts, click the links below: