“Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” Victor Hugo
In the past couple weeks, Victor Hugo has come to mind. This eloquent author captured the darkness of the nation of France during its revolution and the evil deeds of the rich and those in power. The poor turned to doing evil, forced out of necessity or want. Maybe it has to do with the incendiary event at Notre Dame. It could be that Masterpiece Theater is starting a new series based on “Les Miserables.”
There is a thread weaving through these events. The call to redemption is that common denominator. The need for light in a dark, corrupt, insane and unfair world is shown in both stories. We see it today as well, when we see what’s occurring in our own world. The light has gone out of it. Timing is right for revolution. People are angry, frustrated, anxious and depressed by the government. We have become divided in our alliances and our young people are longing for things that will make us all the same.
In both “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Les Miserables,” the main characters are on a quest to change their lives. One finds sanctuary in the walls of a church. Because of his appearance he’s scorned and laughed at. He becomes friends with the many statues of saints that fill the church. He feels protection from the marble gargoyles who stand guard. The church becomes his home and hide away.
The other man pulls himself out of poverty and a cruel imprisonment to make a name for himself and show love and compassion to others. He begins his journey as a cynical atheist and when given hope by a man of God, he turns his life in a different direction. It isn’t because of the wealth he’s gained, but his changed heart. Both stories scream of redemption. Is it self-redemption or does it come from God?
Jesus made the payment for our redemption and is the only way for us to receive our salvation. We can work our heads off, gain wealth and fame, prosper enough to help others, but none of that is going to buy us a place in heaven.
We can struggle through life in poverty. Our hearts may fill with anxiety and hopelessness. We hit bottom and who brings us out of that pit? Not us. Only Jesus.
When a child lays lifeless in a hospital after a three story fall and miraculously shows no internal or brain injuries, that happened because God was there to cushion the child and heal his broken body.
We can assume to take credit for these things, but the only true way to redemption is through Jesus, Christ. Redemption means to buy back or repossess. Think of it that way. We were lost in our sins. We were enemies of God. Through Jesus perfect life, His passion and sacrifice, the ransom has been paid and we are once again right with God.
All the darkness of life has been conquered by God Himself. He loved us so much He sacrificed His own Son so we could live with Him forever. He also brought His Son back to life, as He will with us when we die. That’s the truth!