When the credits rolled on Infinity War, an odd sense of peace washed over me, but my son looked up at me with giant eyes, horrified, “That’s it?”
*SO MANY SPOILERS AHEAD*
Those heroes are all gone. Thanos wins. Evil wins.
"It's over," he said.
"No way," I told him.
"It’s over" is what the followers of Jesus thought. He’s gone. They hoped He was Messiah, savior, but then he was dead and buried – did evil win? Or did they have the wrong guy?
And the final scene when Thanos, surrounded by beauty, finally resting from his quest to bring balance to the Universe, takes a breath, believing he’d won – I imagine he resembles Satan after the crucifixion.
The enemy might have rested in his victory, taking a breath believing he’d thwarted the plan, believing those wretched creatures God inexplicably loved would not be saved, would not have what he lost, would not enjoy God’s presence and a place in heaven.
I reminded my son what Dr. Strange said, when he gave up the time stone in exchange for Iron Man’s life, “We're in the end game now.” And later, as he was going, he said "There was no other way." He was telling us this was part of defeating Thanos, this seeming loss was necessary to get to victory.
Jesus did the same - told His followers His death would come, told them it was necessary, He would suffer many things, He would be killed, and He would rise again (Mark 8:31).
Dr. Strange must have seen this when he looked through all the possible timelines. He saw only one where Thanos was defeated, he knew what would have to happen first – it included Thanos having the stone, it included his own evaporation and it required Iron Man to live.
I wonder if this is some dumbed down version of what God did. I picture Him scrolling through timelines, searching every possibility, looking for a way we could be reconciled to Him without sacrificing our autonomy, and finding only one.
I don’t know what will happen next, what more will be sacrificed, what lives will be resurrected, but I know there will be all of those things. And I know it will end in victory.
It’s an epic story, and it will do what every epic story does – mirror the greatest story of all time.
Speaking of Satan, I wrote this letter/spoken word to him and now it's a video and you can watch/listen here. Only if you want to, I'm not your boss.