Last night I attended a live performance of the most popular of Mozart’s operas: The Magic Flute. It is a tale of a princess’s love won by willingly facing death for her. It portrays this risk as the cost of good prevailing over evil.
Most classical composers wrote on biblical themes, extolling the worship of God and His love and salvation for humankind. I believe Mozart never did. Yet this story expresses human longing for an end to evil, exploring the cost of redemption and final union.
This opera, like many classical fantasy tales, is theological. It points to an end of evil and a final state of security. The “once upon a time” points to the present for us. “Happily ever after,” points to a future bliss, the hope of every breast in this sin-ravaged world.
All these stories present one overall lesson. Most of the stories kill, destroy, or banish the source of evil—the big bad wolf, the wicked witch, and so on. If the wolf hadn’t been killed, Red Riding Hood would never be safe.
The Bible tells this story, but it doesn’t depend on human effort or goodness which will never bring about the end of evil. Hope can only be realized when an ultimate power outside ourselves intervenes to defeat evil.
The Christian faith alone places our future on God’s hands, not our efforts or actions. God Himself, in Jesus the Messiah, faced death, and conquered death, to assure our future. Such is the cost for our secure and permanent future.