The Rest of the Story
At lunch the other day, a friend and mentor of mine pointed out that the last book in the Hebrew Scriptures is Second Chronicles.
"The Hebrew Bible," he said, "ends in profound tragedy."
He explained that the last eight chapters of that last book tell the story of King Hezekiah’s and King Josiah’s failed reforms.
Their beloved nation having fallen into idolatry, Hezekiah and Josiah do their best to turn things around, to correct heavily imprinted patterns of disobedience and selfishness.
But it’s too late.
Judah will not change.
And so, like a song that ends on a minor chord, the Hebrew Bible’s last words describe a bleak reality—a finale that’s more of a fizzle than a fireworks show.
That’s one reason I’m grateful for the Book of Revelation.
The New Testament ends with a final declaration of triumph. A luminescent promise of hope. All the resolution and joy of a major chord.
Everything looks different after Jesus.