That sort of rags to riches, diamond in the rough, street rat Aladdin to Sultan of Agrabah story inspires us. Something about that story motif warms our hearts. No matter how many stories like this we hear, we are just suckers for the next one still. Whether its being adopted by Daddy Warbucks, becoming a princess overnight like Cinderella or Anne Hathaway, solving a Rubik's cube in front of a billionaire like Will Smith, or winning Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in Mumbai, we absolutely love to see the humble underdog make it big. It just connects with us on a deep level.
I think I know why. I believe stories that really speak to our core and soul do so because they resonate with God's Story. It's the story of you and I who find ourselves in a broken world. Relationships fall apart around us, finances are tough, people cut us down, and life is hard. To make matters worse, each of us just knows deep down that there is something missing. There is something more to life than this world has to offer. We try hard to reach our dreams, to find that love, happiness, and purpose that will fill that hole in our soul but we just end up getting nowhere. That's when we catch our lucky break. Enter Jesus who holds out a hand to us. He offers an opportunity like no other. He can fill that hole in our soul by restoring our relationship with God. Check this out...
Ephesians 1:5 tells us that through Jesus, God adopts us as His own children. . . just like Daddy Warbucks.
Since God is the greatest King of all, that would make us princes and princesses. . . just like Aladdin or Cinderella.
Revelation 21 describes the heaven we will be given one day. There, streets of gold and many treasures will be available to us. . . just like car washing Landau and slumdog Jamal got their million.
And according to 2 Corinthians 5:20, God gives us a new job as Christ's ambassadors to the world. We get a job that is actually worth doing, a job with purpose. . . just like Will Smith in Pursuit of Happiness.
We are the underdogs, separated from God's love and joy by our own sinful doing. Jesus is our opportunity, our America's Got Talent stage, our chance for it all to turn around. But instead of Jesus giving us the chance to step up on the stage and win the day, He does something different. Jesus gets on the stage in our place. Instead of giving you the chance to prove to God why you deserve all of those wonderful things, Jesus gets on stage and displays His resume of righteousness, faithfulness, and service. And boy am I grateful. I'm pretty sure if I had to present my whole life to God to prove I deserve adoption and heaven, that I'd get booed off stage. How about you? It gets even better, because Jesus took those boos for you. Jesus lived the perfect life on God's stage and gave all of that glory to you. Jesus took all of the punishment for all of your failures by dying on the cross. And you and I get to be adopted by God, sons and daughters of the king, living in the palace, with the privilidge of serving the King and spreading the news to others, two tasks that satisfy the soul.
So next time you see the underdog win, whether on the screen or in real life, remember the real reason your heart gets warmed. Jesus Christ has made a way for you and I to go from nobodies with nothing to God's royal children with everything we could ever want.