In a recent post, I noted my rare sightings of Jesus in movies. Well, I’ve got to share this rarity and give thanks to brothers like Mr. Jivanjee who see and share such sightings with me on the regular.
***SPOILER ALTER – Note: the following gives the ending of the movie away…be forewarned***
“Warrior” is one of my favorite movies. The entire story is saturated with the building blocks of the Kingdom of heaven: relationship. Through action and drama, the characters put on display hurt and longing for the restoration of relationship. It’s a shadow of the relational restoration we all long for through Jesus Christ.
The strain between brothers, father and son, husband and wife, coworkers, and friends are all brought to the table. Hate, bitterness, loss, grief, death, divorce, alcoholism and many of the struggles life throws our way are quickly front and center in this movie.
Is this not a picture of the present reality? Of the world the Lord has placed us in? Of the things He has overcome and we are called to overcome by faith in Jesus Christ?
The movie focuses on two estranged brothers who enter an exclusive MMA tournament hoping to win a $5 million dollar purse. The older brother, Brendan, is a HS physics teacher and ex-UFC fighter. He gets put on suspension for entering an unofficial MMA fight to earn extra money for his wife and two children. His motivation for fighting is love. He’s doing what he knows to provide for his family.
The younger brother, Tommy, is an ex marine who went awoll after his unit was killed in a bombing in Iraq. As you learn more about him, you find he’s full of anger. He hates his alcoholic father who used to beat his mother. He hates his brother for not fleeing with him and his mother when they were kids. He hates his mother for dying. He hates that his unit was killed in Iraq. He’s fighting in the competition to give the money to a fallen comrade’s family, but his anger fuels him, not love.
In the climax of the movie, the brothers face off as the final two fighters in the tournament. They’ve fought hard. Tommy has destroyed every fighter in the ring quickly and without mercy. Brendan has taken many blows but withstood them all and pinned every opponent till tap out. They’ve both overcome everyone else in the ring leading up to the final fight, and its clear Brendan and Tommy aren’t going to let up let up on each other. Watch this clip…
This is a powerful sighting of our Lord. Earlier in this movie, Brendan could have told Tommy all day long that he loved him. He could have told Tommy everything was OK, but Tommy wouldn’t have heard it. He would have thrown it right back in Brendan’s face. Brokenness. That’s where Jesus captivates our hearts and lives. When we’re sufficiently broken, we receive His love. We need it like the air we breathe, but we don’t realize it until we’re so over whatever else is driving us, that we can embrace our Captor.
And from that broken and defeated place, we’re held captive. In our brokenness, which He inflicted, in our defeat, which he commanded, we’re held captive by the true motive…His love for us in all things.