Written by Lisa Jong, China
Originally in Simplified Chinese
It’s a well-loved story that has travelled through the annals of time, repackaged every so often to fit the audience of the day. Yes, Cinderella is back, this time in the form of a Disney movie. As a big fan of the fairy tale, I was ecstatic when the movie came out, and wasted no time going to the cinema to catch it. (I had to see Cinderella’s dress and her glass shoes, and watch her stepmother and two evil step-sisters get their just desserts, movie-style.)
While the movie’s depiction of Cinderella was largely consistent with the fairy tale, the focal themes seemed to be slightly different. Sure, the magic was still there, right down to the pumpkin coach and glass shoes that eventually lead the prince to the right girl, Ella. But featuring prominently throughout the movie were also lines like “have courage and be kind”, “where there is kindness, there is goodness”, and “where there’s goodness, there’s magic”. What was also surprising is that it is not Ella’s new dress or glass shoes that attract the prince to her, but her courage and kindness.
If you have ever been mistreated and humiliated like Ella, or been belittled for being courageous and kind, you might yearn for a story like Cinderella to be true. To see Ella, looking most ravishing in her beautiful dress, would warm your heart. To watch her attract everyone’s attention at the ball, especially that of the prince, would lift your spirits. Haven’t we all wished at some point in our lives that a magical story like this could come true? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a prince who could deliver us from all our pain, shame and despair?
Guess what? Although there is no magic, there is indeed a prince—a king, in fact—who will do just that. This prince, Jesus Christ, owns both heaven and earth, and He came to this earth to look for us (without having to check our shoe size). He even went to the extent of dying on our behalf. He took on the punishment of death which we all deserve (Isaiah 53:4) because our very first human representative, Adam, sinned and made the rest of us slaves of sin. Jesus paid the price for our freedom from slavery with His blood and His life (Romans 6:23). What’s more, He made us a new dress in His own image—not just of courage and kindness, like Ella’s, but also of holiness, righteousness, gentleness, and humility (Romans 13:14). He even calls us to be His bride to share his eternal reign, and makes us children of God and heirs of God’s promises (Galatians 4:7).
Jesus’ coming is proof that you and I are not meant to remain slaves to the “stepmother” of sin. We were created in the image of God, who came in the form of a man to deliver us to freedom. And now, He is inviting us to be His bride and move to His Kingdom. I’ve accepted His invitation some years ago and since then, I’ve been anticipating the ball where, like Cinderella, I can finally put on my white dress and dance with Him (Revelation 19:7–9).
Will you take up this invitation too?
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12–13)
Photo Credit: Disney Wikia