My wife and I went to see the movie Olympus Has Fallen this past Saturday. In short, it’s an amazing movie and the best action flick I’ve seen in a very long time. This isn’t so much about the movie though, but it does provide an illustration about why many people find the story of Jesus’ death so difficult too believe.
The movie is basically about terrorists that attack the White House and take the president hostage, along with several members of his cabinet. During the high impact, heart pounding attack sequence, we see several capital police and secret service agents shot down trying to repel the attackers and protect the visible centre of America’s power. This is something we can accept. Those of lower status (police and secret service agents) protecting those of higher status. We see the bodies strewn about the lawn and hallways of the white house and we understand that they willingly gave their life to a greater cause. Now, realistically, no one dies to protect a person in this situation, they die to protect an office; an idea greater than themselves.
The story of Christ is exactly opposite. It is the story of a person of higher status dying for the sake of those who are legitimately lower in status than Himself. Not only that, He does it by becoming one of them. If the President died while pretending to be a secret service agent and trying to protect one of them, we would think him foolish and irresponsible. He’s not allowed to play games with his life. So, we think with God. How could he lower Himself to our level and take a bullet for us? Christ died for a purpose higher than us, he died for His own purpose. It’s strange, it’s backwards and it’s no wonder so many don’t believe it.
In return for His sacrifice then, a sacrifice that is completely the opposite from what we understand in popular culture, how do we respond? Do we live a life worthy of that sacrifice or do we say “what have you done for me lately”?
Will you take a bullet for Jesus as He took the nails for us?