February 4, 2020
Remember the A-Team, the over the top, action TV show, that took to the airwaves in the Fall of 1983 and ran for five seasons? It was a show about four Vietnam vets, framed for a crime they didn’t commit, who take time to help the innocent while on the run from the military.
Each week saw the A-Team survive impossible odds to help someone in need, who invariably could never pay them for their services. (Yet they never ran out of resources).
There was Mr. T as B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus, the muscle of the team, who was deathly afraid of flying and had to be drugged unconscious to get him on board an aircraft. He was joined by, “Howling Mad” Murdock, who avoided military prosecution because he was a patient in a psychiatric hospital, out of which he had to be broke free each week to join the team. Incredibly, the rather crazy Murdock was also their pilot! Then there was Templeton “Faceman” Peck, the good looking ladies’ man of the group. Finally, the team was led by John “Hannibal” Smith, the commander and chief and all around brains of the operation.
For all of its predictable plot lines and stereotypical characters, the show put a smile on viewer’s faces for half a decade.
There was a line, near the end of most episodes, where after everything fell into place, when the leader, Hannibal, with cigar hanging from the side of his mouth, would exclaim, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
That satisfying declaration of victory each week, resonated with viewers. There is something within us that loves to see the good guys win, rejoices when good triumphs over evil, and celebrates those who succeed in the face of overwhelming odds. Despite the fact that we are confronted daily by overwhelmingly negative news, the movies and the stories which capture our hearts, are the ones where the hero wins and saves the day. If you don’t believe me just look at the cinematic success of the Marvel universe over the last decade. The human heart loves it when good triumphs over evil.
This is precisely what makes the gospel so attractive. At the darkest hour, when it seemed that evil had won, when the saviour was at death, abandoned by his closest friends and the enemy was wringing his hands in delight, things began to change. The earth shook, the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom and the stone over the mouth of the hero’s grave was rolled back! He rose from the dead victorious.
The gospel is the story of mercy of judgement, of grace over law and of life over death. But most importantly, it is the story of victory! The story of one good man’s triumph over evil.
That is the message of the gospel – the good news!
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together!