When I read a book, see a movie, or even hear a joke, I want the story to progress as the creator intended. No spoilers, please.
I have friends who insist that spoilers don’t bother them. Some friends have even said they actually like knowing the end before they get there, that this enhances their enjoyment of the story. This makes me realize there are some people I’ll never understand.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not at this woman’s extreme:
For me, when the book comes first I often want to read it before I see the movie. Then again, sometimes I just want to see the film. I can always read the book later, and since movies based on books take a lot of liberties with the story there’s always something to discover anew.
But there’s one story I am glad to know the end of before it comes along. It’s the story of Jesus.
An incomplete story
The Bible, like a lot of books, has an overarching theme, and that theme is the gospel of Christ. The opening lines of Genesis are about creation, and the opening lines of the book of John are about Jesus being the Creator. Israelite prophets said the Messiah would come to usher in a new and everlasting covenant between God and his people, and Jesus tells his listeners that he is the fulfillment of those promises with his death and resurrection.
The Bible has an interesting event following Jesus’ resurrection, though. Instead of finishing the job, he literally vanishes into thin air.
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11.)
These earliest Christians thought Jesus was going to set everything right for God’s people, but he tells them they have more work to do and then he goes and disappears. Almost every single one of those who watched him ascend ended up dying before hearing the rest of the story. They were left hanging.
Everyone except John.
A revelation of spoilers
John lived to old age, really old age, and then received a vision from God that gave away the end of the story. He wrote it down for the rest of us in what became known as the Book of Revelation. His book does more than tell the end of the story. It’s downright chock-full of spoilers like these:
- Jesus is already on the throne of heaven.
- Satan’s end is sure.
- All things will be made new and eternally perfect.
- There will be no sorrow, no cause for sorrow, and not even the possibility of sorrow in the new creation.
You’ll find these truths and more about the final realization of God’s plan for his people in Revelation. I’ll leave it to you to read it and find them for yourself, though.
No sense spoiling it for you.