Some of the most iconic moments in cinema history involve an unexpected plot twist. Done well, it can be the making of a film. Apparently, the Empire Strikes Back’s “No, Luke, I am your father!” was such a closely guarded secret that even the man in the Darth Vader suit only found out at the premiere!

Romans isn’t a film, but the words our passage begin with today introduce one of the biggest twists in the Bible. Paul has spent most of the last three chapters proving that on judgement day “every mouth [will] be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” (Rom 3:19) We will have nothing to say in our defence. “But now”, Paul tells us, God has revealed a way to get a verdict of “righteous” on judgement day nonetheless!

The element of surprise wears off if you watch a film more than once. I no longer gasp in shock at the Empire Strikes Back like I did when I was 10. But if we are to treasure the Gospel as we should, we must never lose our wonder at the fact that there is a Gospel at all. We might have been expecting Paul’s letter to come to this point, but let us never take it for granted.


Plot Twist!

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