What is real?
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:55
“Roberto Benigni, who wrote, directed, and starred in Life is Beautiful, is a comic genius who has been called the Italian Charlie Chaplin. But the subject of his 1997 film, the Holocaust, is anything but funny.
Benigni’s character, a sad-sack waiter named Guido, courts the affections of a local schoolteacher and through various hilarious adventures wins her heart. They marry and have a son.
Then things take a dark turn: Father and son, who are Jewish, are sent to a concentration camp. To shield his son from the horrors they’re going through, Guido concocts a wild story, telling the boy that the whole experience is really just an elaborate game.
How did Benigni dare to use humor in a film about a great moral evil? He did it by expressing the Christian idea that there’s more to life than what we see. In the scene in which the father is being led away to be killed, he spots his son and makes a funny face. The message is that there is something that triumphs over even death, some transcendent reality that, even in this ultimate moment of gravity, enables Guido to make his son laugh.
Most of our cultural leaders operate from a purely naturalistic perspective, but Scripture teaches that there are eternal things.Life is Beautiful is not the gospel story, but it does point to the gospel because it’s about how God’s redemptive reality trumps the very worst this world has to offer.”
Adapted from How Now Shall We Live? Devotional by Charles Colson (Tyndale) pp 581-82
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House