Last night was a doozy. Not because of anything Super Bowl related, but because of This Is Us.
If you watch the show, then you know that this episode was imminent. The episode where we get all the answers and find out just how Jack Pearson dies. After the very first episode of the show, I wanted answers. I wanted to know all the gritty details. Yet as yesterday progressed and this tumultuous episode quickly approached, I realized I didn’t want to see, I didn’t want to know. Yes, this is just a TV show, but hey the best stories are the ones that suck you in and make you feel like you’re part of it all. There’s power in stories.
Anyway, I sat at my friends’ house and watched in shock and awe as the details surrounding his death finally came to light. I hid my face between two pillows as some tears were shed. I sat in silence as the end credits came, amazed at the talent of the show’s writers.
Then my mind immediately started bouncing around, seeing all the gospel glimpses in this show. I’ve written other posts about themes in the show that I think speak into the Christian walk, but this episode by far had the greatest parallels.
If you’re reading this I hope you’ve seen the episode, otherwise I’m about to ruin your day.
Jack Pearson dies as a result of running back into his family’s burning home in efforts to save his daughter’s dog and other various treasured belongings, after rescuing his family and getting them safely outside. He doesn’t die in the house, but he dies later as a result of all the smoke that he had inhaled.
While I was obviously upset and bothered by these turn of events, I didn’t think it was a dramatic or questionable call by the writers. Throughout the series, we’ve seen Jack Pearson be a pretty tremendous father and husband. It was not out of character for him to run back into the house for his family. Out of the overflow of his love for his family, he ran back in. He was no fool. It would have been tremendously foolish if there was no dog inside and he just decided to prove his love by running back in for no reason. There were items and a pet that his family cherished and so he made the call.
When a doctor later questions his decision to run back into the burning building he says, “I love the girl that loves the dog.”
I recap all of this to say, Jesus was no fool either.
Jesus going through a gruesome death on the cross for us would have been foolish if there was any other way for us to receive salvation, to experience everlasting community with God, and to atone for our sins.
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. – Galatians 2:21
If righteousness in God’s eyes could be gained by our behavior, than Christ died for no purpose. If we can gain righteousness in any other way than simply God’s great grace, then Christ was a fool for dying on the cross for us.
Jesus was no fool. I make Him a fool through my lifestyle however if I rely on anything other than His grace for my right standing with Him.
It is crazy to me how fast I can get into the mindset that I can bring anything to the table. It is crazy to me how fast I can fall into believing I can earn what He has done through good moral behavior. When I fall into this mindset or worldview, the entire book of Galatians blasts like dynamite through this false belief system.
If righteousness could be gained by behavior, Christ died for no reason.
I think we need to be reminded of this daily. It’s cool how the Lord works because a TV show can bring this reminder to me. Jack Pearson died because of his love, not because he was a fool. Jesus, in a far greater way, died because of his love for us, not because he was a fool.
This is the most well-known verse ever, but it’s important:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
It was the love of God that led Jesus to the cross.
Rest in grace.
In His Name,
If there’s any topic you want to hear me ramble about, just leave a comment! Thanks for reading!