The picture you see here is of a curtain call. The curtain call is the moment at the end of a play when all the actors come out from behind the curtain to take a final bow. I chose this particular curtain call as an object lesson, because this curtain call is from the play Hamlet. Why is that significant?
Because just a moment ago, nearly all of these people were dead.
For those familiar with William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, the story ends with a climatic duel that ends up causing the deaths of just about every single character. The very last scene see Hamlet’s friend bursting on the scene to find a castle hall full of the dead. The story ends, everyone dies.
But lo! The curtain call! Everyone is alive again! It turns out this play was just a work of imagination, just a brief lesson in miniature, and everyone is actually OK. Death was not the end for these people.
But real life does not work that way. Or does it? What does the bard say?
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII and Macbeth Act V, Scene V
Even the bard agrees, life is a play. The only thing I would disagree with is that last bit. The tale we are a part of is significant.
The Creator God is our Playwright. He gives us all a part to play and a job to do. A man, as the Bard says, might play many parts in his life. Everyone has entrances and exits onto the stage. The entrance is birth. The exit is death.
And yet, death is not the end. There is the Curtain Call. We call it the Resurrection.
It will be a day when all who belong to Christ who have mourned the dead and felt the sting of its loss will awake to find it was all just a play and that the deaths they suffered did not last. Everyone who was dead is alive once again!
The beloved elder cut down in Act I holds hands with the young man who died in the battle of Act V. Abraham, Paul, William Wilberforce, and Billy Graham will all take a bow and toss their crowns at the feet of the Great Playwright upon the glassy sea.
Then there will be the Cast Party called the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, and nothing waiting but endless paradise.
Play your part well. The curtain soon falls.