I wrote this essay because I was given the challenge to compare and contrast an element from the Harry Potter story with another story that I loved. The redemption theme in literature is one of my favorite things to look for, so the original story of God's redemption of man was the first thing to come to mind.
Once upon a time, a boy was born into a world filled with evil. He grew up among people who didn’t understand him, and who disapproved of him because he was different from them. He was the Chosen One, the only one who could rid the world of the evil that plagued it.
And when the time came for him to face the evil one, he realized that the only way he could save the world forever was not merely to kill the evil one, but that he would have to die as well. He would have to offer himself as a willing victim, a sacrifice. Only then would the power of the evil one over those he loved be broken. And so the Chosen One bravely went, not to kill, but to die.
The evil one took his chance. He slew the Chosen One, and with shouts of victory and derision, displayed his triumph to the people.
Those who loved him, who needed him, watched in despair. He was the Chosen One. He was the only one who could save them. And now, he was dead. All hope was lost. But even in the face of certain defeat, they would not surrender to the evil one. Confused, crushed, and despondent, they mourned.
The evil one had his moment. In wicked glee, he celebrated over his vanquished foe.
And then, the Chosen One conquered death itself. He came back to his people, alive and strong. He had broken the evil one’s power over them forever, and now it was time to defeat the evil one himself. With fear in his heart, the evil one tried again to fight, but this time he was doomed to fail. The Chosen One prevailed, and evil was crushed forever. The sun rose over a world renewed in hope.
All was well.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Cor. 15.26
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Cor. 15.54
The Chosen One is Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. He is Aslan, the Son of the Great Emperor beyond the Sea. He is Frodo, the Ring-Bearer. He is King Arthur, or Neo, or Taran Wanderer, or Anakin Skywalker. He lives in a hundred incarnations of brave knights, stalwart adventurers, and charming princes.
This story is threaded throughout our human cultures and experiences because it was written before the world began. In eternity past, God the Father planned this story in its truest form – the redemption of mankind through Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Chosen One, the Son of God.
Jesus died to break the power of evil over the people he loved. He rose from the dead, proving he had succeeded.
But unlike most of the fictional heroes, who made their sacrifices with the support of beloved family or loyal friends, Jesus suffered alone, forsaken even by God.
And through his sacrifice, he has rescued all who believe in him from the power of sin and secured a promised eternity with him.
And so for us too, all is well.