(from November 2012)
I’m very behind the times. But I’m improving – I recently got a new cellular bag phone, dial-up internet, and music from this cool new band “Hootie & the Blowfish” from Columbia House. OK, so maybe I’m not behind in those things, but I just picked up the Harry Potter series for the first time. I recently finished the first book, which came out in 1999 (the same year that current college freshmen would have been in 1st grade). And when I first heard of it my sophomore year of college (2001), I never thought I would say this: I really like it.
Why do I like Harry Potter? Because I love a good story. Especially a story that inspires and offers hope. As I mentioned, I’m only through the first book, but if I were to sum up the series thus far, it would be about a whole ‘nother world, altogether different from humans (or Muggles, as their called in the series), where evil (Voldemort) was an unintended and unwelcomed intruder into their world doing his worst to some of their kind, but there was hope. Hope of one (Harry Potter) who might one day be able to stand up to this evil.
I like the story of Harry Potter because it reminds me of a story I love, about a whole ‘nother world altogether. Separated from God by an evil (sin) that was an unintended and unwelcomed intruder (Rom. 6:23) into that world, bringing out the worst of our kind (Jer. 17:9; Mark 9:21; Matt. 15:19). But there was Hope (Matt. 12:18-21; 1 Thess. 1:3) in the One (Gen. 3:15) who would one day come to defeat this evil.
I like Harry Potter because it reminds me of the story of Jesus. The Bible teaches that from the very beginning God had a plan of redemption. Sin came into the world through one man Adam, and redemption was promised to come through one man, Jesus (Rom. 5). The prophet Isaiah writes that Jesus, the One through whom redemption would come, would come in the form of a baby boy (Isa. 9:6-7), and he would one day establish his rule of peace, sit on the throne, and uphold the world with his righteousness and justice.
Even more clearly, Genesis 3:15 says that this child, this “offspring” of the woman would be bruised by the Devil, but would ultimately deliver the deathblow to the “offspring” of the serpent. This Genesis 3:15 promise sees it’s fulfillment in Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross – in his death, Jesus received the bruising, but in his resurrection he delivered the deathblow.
I’m only in the beginning of the second book, but why do I love Harry Potter so far? Because it’s about the power of sacrificial love, and a child who is the hope of redemption for an entire people. Sound familiar?