My mother used to read to us from such collections as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Mother Goose, Aesop’s Fables, and a host of other, much beloved stories.
In each tale was a germ of truth, and a clear delineation between good and bad:
Tell the truth (Pinnochio)
Don’t make deals with a wolf (The Three Little Pigs)
Slow and steady wins the race (The Tortoise and the Hare)
Work hard and in time you’ll reap the benefits (The Little Red Hen)
But my favorite fairy tale of all was The Sleeping Beauty. Evil Maleficent hates the lovely princess, Aurora, and wants her dead. But I think the real story here is about the partnership of the prince with the three fairy godmothers and the good creatures of the forest.
Maleficent holds the noble prince captive in her dark and hellish castle. But, aided by the powers of good, the prince escapes and rides away to rescue his beloved princess, lying in a deathlike state in the king’s castle.
The powers of darkness unleash their fury on the prince. Thorny, impenetrable trees block his path. Maleficent, herself, transforms into a mighty dragon, spewing fire. But nothing can stop the prince. Love impels him to fight evil, risk his own life to reach Aurora and bring her back to life with his ardent kiss.
Even as a little girl, my feminine heart thrilled at the thought that someday my own “prince” would be willing to risk all to reach me and rescue me from any danger.
Unlike many stories that have come out in the last twenty years, this old story has a definite good and definite evil. The prince is all good. Maleficent is all bad.
God’s Word speaks about Jesus—the Prince of Peace— in the same way: “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1st John 1:5)
Jesus is the ultimate Prince, the Man who has surrendered His life to death on a cross, defeated death and Satan, and longs for the day He can come to His Bride and take her home to be with him forever.
Jesus is not a complicated hero in a modern story, with emotional issues and idiosyncrasies, who sometimes does the right thing, but often fails, too. Jesus is all good. Completely trustworthy and honest. The ultimate hero in any story.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13)