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 4: The Price of Gold.
It seems fitting that this post is being formed in light of this past week’s events off the Coast of Italy. If you haven’t heard, the cruise ship from the pictures in the link ran aground and the captain of that vessel jumped ship before the ship had been completely evacuated. Even though lives were still at sake, he left.
In this series on Once Upon a Time, I have made a connection between Emma and the role of the Messiah. As time progresses in the series we begin to wonder what is keeping Emma in Storybrooke if she doesn’t believe what Henry has been saying. To Regina’s dismay, she has stayed for a few weeks and still feels somehow compelled to do so.
Ever present in this series is the idea of greed. Greed is what makes Rumpelstiltskin make vicious deals with everyone; greed is why the queen attacked happiness in the first place; you might even say it is greed that convinces Cinderella to trade something for happiness in the first place. Isn’t that the case for us? Greed is ever present in our lives. If we aren’t experiencing it personally, we at least know others who practice it regularly. This form of self-centeredness tells us that our plans are far greater than anything or anyone else that might be in the way of accomplishing those plans. Emma has seen great amounts of this greed in her time in Maine. But some how, she seems apart from it up to this point. She even risks her safety by making a deal with Mr. Gold in order to save Ashley’s (Cinderella’s) baby.
Jesus wasn’t greedy
Imagine if Jesus had been greedy. Imagine if He came to earth, realized it was difficult, and left because it was outside of His will. What would have happened? At the temptation in the wilderness Jesus was offered the prospect of giving up His mission, but He refused. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering may pass from Him (Matthew 26.36-46). He wanted out, but chose instead to remain until His mission was accomplished. He suppressed the temptation to greedily take His life as His own and instead stayed here and sacrificed it on our behalf. He wouldn’t have made the sacrifice because He would have thought Himself better than that (cf. Phil. 2.1-11).
Emma could have left Storybrooke (or not even come in the first place) but she stayed because she loved her son. The captain of the ship mentioned above should have stayed for all of those still in danger, but left out of love for himself. In the same way, Jesus loves His people and stayed until it was finished. And He finished it well for us.
This is part five 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:
- Introduction: Every Story is a Reflection
- Pilot Episode: Welcome to Storybrooke
- The thing you love most (ep. 2): Convince Me
- Snow Falls (ep. 3): Why do we love happy endings?