Jesus Christ ended well. He ended with a flourish. He rose from the grave, appeared to His followers numerous times over the course of 40 days, proved to them He was actually alive, ate with them, talked with them about the Kingdom of God, gave them final instructions, ascended into heaven, sent two angels to confirm what had just happened, promised His return in the same manner, and left His Holy Spirit to carry on in His physical absence. Now that’s a good ending.
Certainly, for a while there, things were pretty shaky. He was dead; His followers were scattered; the kingdom they thought He had come to establish was a bust; and they couldn’t even find His body. Peter announced he was going fishing. That’s a really bad ending. But not for long.
Jesus is in the business of redeeming bad endings. It started with His own, and then it spilled over into all of our endings. The Bible says He was the first fruits of all those who would die after putting their trust in Him. When He rose from the grave, He pulled the rest of us out of the grasp of Satan and into His marvelous light, forever.
Two days ago, in Las Vegas, Nevada, one man brought a really bad ending to 22,000 people, to an entire nation, and to many around the world. The news said he acted alone — a “lone wolf,” they say — but he was not alone; he was in concert with the devil. Satan is the Destroyer, and just like this man, he’s going down, and he’s bent on taking as many people with him as he can. It’s the opposite of what Christ has done. He’s trying to lead many to their doom. He ended the lives of at least 58 people, he ended the concert, he ended the celebration, and he ended his own life.
But who will have the last say? Thank God, it won’t be him, and it won’t be Satan; it will be God. In fact, God is already in the business of redeeming this event. Stories are coming out about people’s sacrificial love in shielding others. There is no greater love than someone who lays down their life for another. This is precisely what Christ has done for us. There will be stories from the hospitals, stores of heroism, stories of new friendships. And ultimately, on the very last day, there will be the triumph of God’s will over everything — yes, even this. God is writing a never ending story with our lives for the whole universe to see. There is — and there will be — ultimate victory.