I have an entire dissertation, of sorts, about how we humans love stories and why. I wrote it about 8 years ago and it’s a little long for blog format, so I’ll try to shorten it and pick out the pertinent paragraphs.
We humans love to hear and tell stories. We seem to especially enjoy stories of redemption and rescue, sacrifice and mercy, love to the unlovely, weak becoming strong, a hero triumphing against all odds, and ultimate good versus ultimate evil. Why?
God wrote history and life to tell this story. Throughout the Bible you can see shades and pieces of God’s ultimate story. [The Scarlet Thread] God’s ultimate story is His plan of redemption for humans and His eventual triumph over evil in the end.
Picture in your mind a triumphant hero walking resolutely on through and past enormous circumstances of overwhelming odds. Oh, the frustration and sympathetic pain we go through as we see the hero of a story going through such a hard time! But when the hero finally makes it through the trial, then YES! It has been done! We get such a thrill from that. There are two things I can see this kind of story is shadowing. First, Jesus going through His life with many people hating Him, and eventually going through the ultimate trial of dying a torturous death that He did not deserve. Really, since Jesus is God, He didn’t even have to die. But He loves us, so He did. He went through the most horrible of things, and He died. That looked like the end. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. He came back to life! Death has no power over the Son of God! Jesus has won the victory! Second, we go through trials in our lives. Believers have the help of God to get through them and to come out better on the other side!
Now for the epic battle of ultimate good versus ultimate evil. God is ultimate good. Satan is ultimate evil. They are currently battling, but God is winning. Sometimes it looks like evil is winning or has won, but God isn’t finished yet. Good always wins in the end. Good always triumphs over evil. We know the difference between good and evil, and we love stories where the evil and all its allies are finally squashed and squelched forever! God is setting up for His final blow to evil. Are you ready for when it comes?
So why do we enjoy stories? I think it is because they remind us of life, of its overarching themes, and our intrinsic awareness that there is a God.