There are a few moments in movies that will give me goose bumps regardless of how many times I see them.
In The Two Towers, when Gandalf and Eomer ride in at the end to rescue Helm’s Deep, I always get goose bumps.
When the Millennium Falcon comes shooting out of the Death Star and Luke escapes with his father’s body, I always get goose bumps.
When the Avengers finally assemble in New York City, amidst scores of screaming Chitauri, I always get goose bumps.
I’ve seen those scenes numerous times and I know they’re going to happen. It’s no surprise that Gandalf saves the day or that the Empire is defeated or that the Avengers assemble. Yet whenever I see those moments, even though I know they’re coming, it’s like my body can’t help but be inspired.
I don’t know if it’s my body causing the goose bumps or my soul, but there’s a part of us that is inspired when good overcomes evil. We love seeing good defeat evil.
We love that the Rebellion defeats the Empire.
We love that Harry defeats Voldemort.
We love that Batman defeats the Joker and saves Gotham.
We love those stories and so many others because they’re echoes of the ultimate good defeating the ultimate evil. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter morning he forever defeated the forces of sin and darkness in this world. Because of Christ’s ultimate triumph we are no longer enslaved to death and decay. On that first Easter morning 2,000 years ago good defeated evil and our hearts, minds, bodies and souls know it.
Deep down we know that light defeated darkness, life defeated death, forgiveness defeated sin, and good defeated evil. We can’t help but smile, get goose bumps or cheer whenever we see even a small shadow of that victory.
The reason that our modern stories can be so powerful is that they point us back to the ultimate story of God rescuing humanity.
Sure, The Avengers isn’t about salvation, but it is about a team banding together for the greater good.
And Tolkien may have been a Christian but The Two Towers isn’t about Calvary’s hill or the empty grave. It is, however, about good overcoming evil.
The first Easter is the climax of our universe’s history and we can feel its reverberations all around us. We definitely feel them when standing in church and praising God. But we can also feel them when sitting in a movie theater, reading a novel or watching a television show. We just have to be willing to let them point us back to God.
What stories remind you of God’s ultimate victory over evil, sin and darkness?