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Fulfillment Not Failure 

As a child growing up, I was a bit of a bookworm. Amidst what was often a challenging and uncertain life, I found respite tucked away in the faraway worlds and lives I discovered in the pages of books. One of my favorite series of books to read as a young man was The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. There was always a sense of hope and purpose in the face of hardship as you followed the lives of Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy, and it was these things that drew me to pick up these books again and again.
 
In Lewis’ first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan and Lucy mourn the loss of their beloved Aslan, who sacrificed himself for the kingdom of Narnia. The story’s narrator describes the scene:
 
“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been—if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you—you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. . . . But at last Lucy noticed two other things. One was that the sky on the East side of the hill was a little less dark than it had been an hour ago. The other was some movement going on in the grass at her feet.” (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
 
We get a sense of the heartbreak the two girls are feeling in the wake of losing their friend and leader, but we also are left, with those last two lines, with a sense of hope and purpose, as if somehow this was all part of the plan, that somehow things were going to work out in some extraordinary way—which of course is exactly what happens as we continue our journey with our dear friends in Narnia.
 
This week, as we continue our series, Words from the Cross, we will be looking at John 19:30 and the final words of Christ before He gave up His spirit, dying upon that Roman cross. We will discover the heartbreak of His friends and family, who like Susan and Lucy, could not have been more miserable, or more confused by the seemingly defeat of the One they called Lord. We will also look at the glimmers of light, scattered across thousands of years, all pointing to the imminent victory achieved in this moment.
 
Yes, it was a dark, painful time, and it certainly looked like failure by all accounts; but this wasn’t failure friends: this was fulfillment!

Shaun

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