There are some movies that leave an indelible impression in one’s life and I must admit that La vita è bella (translated Life is Beautiful) more than foots the bill in mine. An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all is the story of la vita è bella. Guido, a Jewish man who loves his wife dearly, gifted with an incredible sense of humor has to use that same quality to protect his son, Giosué Orefice in a Nazi death camp. Words can’t express the extent of the love the father had for his son and the very thought of this movie wrenches my heart and makes my eyes well up with tears. It reminds me as to what life is all about and that life indeed is beautiful. If you have not watched this movie, I reckon you do, but be forewarned that if you are any bit emotional, by the end of the movie, your emotions would have gone through a roller coaster, with etching effects, as did mine.
The movie begins with the son Giosué Orefice narrating as an adult the following -
This is a simple story… but not an easy one to tell.
This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me.
As I wondered on what I can learn from this movie to apply in our Christian walk, it soon dawned on me that we too have a story to tell. Each of us can indeed say “This is a simple story… but not an easy one to tell. This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me.”
This is a simple story….
A Holy God created man. Man disobeys God and gets separated from God. God demands a sacrifice without blemish. Man cannot provide that offering. God comes to be with man in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. Man rejects Jesus. Jesus the one without sin is sacrificed by crucifixion on a Cross on Calvary. The Cross becomes the bridge for man to reach God. God raises Jesus from the dead. Sin and death are vanquished with the resurrection of Jesus. Those who believe in Jesus will be restored into relationship with God and until Jesus returns to reign as King, God has poured out His Spirit, the Spirit of His Son, into the hearts of men and women so that they are separated not from him, but for Him from the world and its disobedience against God. The Bible says that there is simplicity in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
but not an easy one to tell
The aforementioned story of a good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep; a Father eagerly awaiting the return of the prodigal child; a Savior seeking sinners (you and me) and transforming them into saint, the story of the Cross is not an easy one, because it convicts the hearer of sin, commands the hearer to surrender and challenges the hearer to sacrifice and we who like to be in control of our lives and everything around us find it always a challenge to say, nevertheless not my will, Lord, but yours be done (Luke 22:42).
This is my story.
A sinner who met the Savior Jesus, who with His amazing grace adopted me to be His son. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)
This is the sacrifice my father made.
God the Father sacrificed His own Son, forsaking Him so that we shall not be forsaken. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1). For God (the Father) so loved that world that He gave His Only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
This was his gift to me.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
La vita è bella. Life is beautiful.
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