The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Who doesn't love a great love story?

That’s why I took my husband to see the remake of the movie Ben-Hur on it’s opening day. It is the romantic story of a fictional nobleman named Judah Ben-Hur, who tries to save his family from misfortune and restore honor to the family name, while earning the love of a modest Jewess named Esther. It is also a tale of vengeance and spiritual forgiveness that includes themes of Christian redemption and God's benevolence through the compassion of strangers.  

Although The Lego Movie is not a love story per se, Lucy’s first appearance in the movie emits romance. Emmet notices her hair falling across her gentle face as she turns her head towards him revealing her eyes filled with fear and trepidation. She comes across as a woman who is the opposite of Emmet. Yet, Emmet pursues her and is clearly falling in love with her as he spends time with her. Lucy knows he has something she needs, but reminds him over and over that she has a boyfriend, who, to Emmet's surprise, is Batman. Emmet believes Lucy deserves better and is bent on winning her heart. So yes …. maybe it is a romance. This only makes my goal of comparing Emmet to the Messiah even more difficult because most people don’t view God as the romantic type. But listen up ...

Actually, God is the author of the greatest love story ever told. ~ His relentless pursuit of our heart is evidence of his unconditional love for us:

·      He writes us love songs ~ Shir haShirim (Song of Songs) was written by King Solomon and uses a romantic relationship between a man and a woman as an allegory for the relationship between God and the Jewish people.

·      He is jealous for us ~ emphasized numerous times during the Exodus when His people worshiped idols instead of Him.

Batman, Lucy’s boyfriend is filled with darkness and pride. He is an orphan. He is worldly. He is narcissistic. His actions however, driven by selfish ambition, are instrumental in revealing Emmet’s true identity as the Special, the Master Builder. It is Batman's dark side which brings Emmet’s good side to light in Lucy’s eyes. Lucy’s superficial, perhaps scandalous, life was restored by Emmet’s love for her. Lucy is the personification of Mary Magdelene, so eloquently described by Pope Gregory the Great: She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. What did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? It is clear, that the woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts. What she therefore displayed more scandalously, she was now offering to God in a more praiseworthy manner. She had coveted with earthly eyes, but now through penitence these are consumed with tears. She displayed her hair to set off her face, but now her hair dries her tears. She had spoken proud things with her mouth, but in kissing the Lord’s feet, she now planted her mouth on the Redeemer’s feet. For every delight, therefore, she had had in herself, she now immolated herself. She turned the mass of her crimes to virtues, in order to serve God entirely in penance.”

·      He calls us as His bride ~ Isaiah 62:5  

As a young man marries a young woman,

so will your Builder marry you;

as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,

so will your God rejoice over you.” 

But they, Emmet and Lucy do not become "one" until the end when the mission of the Special has been fulfilled. When he eventually returns from the dead to rescue his bride, Batman says to Lucy … “He’s the hero you deserve.”

My oldest daughter married the love of her life almost two years ago and my youngest daughter will soon marry the love of her life. My husband and I are ecstatic about both of these marriages with plans underway to host a very large gathering to celebrate this covenant of marriage. We can all look forward to the Great Wedding Banquet when we “marry” our hero, if we choose to say “yes” to the bridegroom of light and “no” to the darkness of the world.  

Joseph Henry Harper, original publisher of Ben-Hur, praised it as "the most beautiful manuscript that has ever come into this house. A bold experiment to make Christ a hero that has been often tried and always failed."  

He forgives us when we are unfaithful, even if we betray him ~ (Luke 23:34)

Just before His death, the real messianic hero uttered these final words …
“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”   

These very words are what make it the greatest love story ever told.