Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Hero Moment

Keanu Reeves isn't in a whole lot of movies nowadays, and I appreciate him a lot more than your common man. Gimme the wooden acting and scarcity of any real dialogue - I think it's cool. This might also partially have to do with the fact that my brother looks a lot like the guy, but, whatever the reason, I got really excited when John Wick came out.

It's your typical "you-killed-my-dog-so-I'll-destroy-your-entire-mafia-empire" type movie. Literally, they kill his dog. And then he kills all of them. Oh, sorry spoiler alert. I probably should have told you that earlier, but let's be honest, you knew that was the case from the trailer. In any case, John Wick made it into one of my top man-movies. Y'know, the kind you watch with your dad when mom's not around with you (even though my dad actually hates this shoot-em-up kinda stuff).

Anyway, there's this one scene in the movie where the bad guy catches him. There's no hope for escape and John will be killed. In fact, they start suffocating him with a plastic bag. Then, at just the opportune moment, we see a man outside the building fire a sniper rifle and one of the baddies who's killing Keanu gets killed himself, giving him just enough leverage to be able to kill the one other guy who's choking him out.


This happens a lot in these types of movies. It's formulaic in a way. Good guy attacks bad guy. Bad guy catches good guy. Bad guy tries to kill good guy. Then, good guy is saved by something totally out of his power. I call it "The Hero Moment." Essentially, salvation occurs totally out of the hands of the protagonist, who is helpless to save himself.

"And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, 'Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!'" (Mark 15)
Man, that would have made a really cool movie - the guiltless Hero releases His supernatural strength and destroys His enemies! Talk about a man-movie. But here's what's maddening about this whole situation: Jesus, unlike any other protagonist in history, was not saved by any Hero Moment. In fact, He was the only one Who never needed a Hero Moment because He's God and He could just take Himself off the cross at any second!

No, instead He saw that the one who needed a Hero Moment was you. Was me. Was humanity. However, in this situation, we're not the good guy. We're the bad guy. At this moment in history, Jesus decides to reverse roles and forfeit his Hero Moment to give it to us, because He knew that there was no way that we were going to get out of the sin and eternal destruction that we are doomed to.

And so, yeah, maybe it would have made a cool movie for Jesus to show His strength there up on that cross by taking Himself down and destroying His enemies. But I think He knew that even better than a good movie is a Victorious Eternity.


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