One of the unintended consequences of marrying a woman from Mexico is my now intimate understanding of Mexican Soap Operas. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I can now intelligently converse with any Mexican housewife about her favorite telenovelas.
While American Soap Operas can last for decades, Mexican Soap Operas last only a few months. They are simply serial novels brought to the small screen. With so many being produced, however, plotlines tend to repeat.
One common theme in Mexican Soap Operas is the Cinderella story. A young servant girl or street urchin falls in love with the handsome son of a multimillionaire or finds out she is the long lost daughter of a wealthy tycoon.
She literally goes from rags to riches. The dirt is washed off her face. Her scraggly hair is styled. Suddenly she is a new person enjoying a new life – living happily ever after.
My life is a Mexican Soap Opera. Your life is a Mexican Soap Opera. We were all born poor, dirty slaves – slaves to sin, slaves to guilt, slaves to death.
If you doubt that, just look at your life even now. Look at how you keep falling into the same stupid sins over and over again. Look at the things which enslave you: alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. You keep losing your temper. You keep worrying. You keep gossiping even though you know it is wrong. We are all addicted to sin. We are slaves.
The Apostle Paul, however, tells us, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son … to redeem those under law” (Galatians 4:4).
Jesus redeemed us. Do you know what that means? To redeem is to pay the price of freedom. To redeem is to pay the ransom of a kidnapped loved one. To redeem is to pay the fine to get your son out of jail. To redeem is to pay the price to set a slave free.
Jesus redeemed you. He paid the price of your freedom – “not with gold or silver, but with his holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death.” Jesus suffered the punishment you deserve for your slavish devotion to sin. He died to set you free. His blood, his life, was the price of your freedom.
Because he paid that price in full, you are now free. You are forgiven. The chains of hell will never tighten around your wrists and ankles.
And not only did God set you free from your slavery to sin and death, he also adopted you as his son or daughter. As the waters of Holy Baptism poured over your head, as the Holy Spirit entered your heart and gave you faith, God adopted you as his child. Paul tells us, “You are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:7).
Think about that. Yours is a rags to riches story. You didn’t earn it. You don’t deserve it. You didn’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
Yet, because of Jesus, you who were a dirty slave are now a son or daughter of the King. You are an heir to the fortune of heaven where you will live happily ever after forever.
As I said, your life is a Mexican Soap Opera.