When I was thirteen the movie "Armageddon" was released. It instantly became one of my favorites. To this day it is a movie I could annoy any first time viewer by finishing the actor's sentences for them.
As a young teen, my interest in this movie was based on two reasons alone:
1. Bruce Willis; they're still evaluating what is wrong with me, but while most girls were crushing over Jonathan Taylor Thomas I was obsessed with older actors like Mel Gibson and Jean Claude Van Damme. It doesn't end there. In fact it got worse as I got older. Michael Caine? Pure hotness right there.
I have no shame.
2. Astronauts; to this day I still flock to any movies where spacesuits are involved. Excluding the movie "Sunshine". My brother described that movie to me and from what I can tell the story line played out in film form would take my dream of being an astronaut completely away.
And that's a feeling I never want to have.
If you haven't seen "Armageddon", I'm going to spoil it for you.
You've been warned.
The world is ending (perhaps the title was a bit of a hint??) because an asteroid is going to hit earth. A team of oil drillers are sent into space to drill into the asteroid and blow it up. After a series of unfortunate events, which mostly includes half of the crew dying, of the few men left one must stay behind to manually activate the bomb, and therefore die, as the others head back to the safety of earth.
The men draw straws, and Bruce Willis's character's soon-to-be-son-in-law gets the job of staying back. In the end, Bruce pushes the son-in-law on board the space ship and sacrifices himself so that his daughter can have a good life with this man.
Around the horse's backside to get to his other ear, here is my point: self-sacrifice.
I recently finished watching The History Channel's "The Bible". Though I've been a Christian my entire life, seen passion plays and the movie "The Passion" more times than I can count, the following thought came to me for the first time as I watched this series.
Pilate gives the people a choice. It is Passover, he has the ability to release one prisoner to them. He offers them the choice of Jesus or Barabbas a known murderer. He is hoping, in fact assuming, that they will pick Jesus. The man hadn't hurt anyone. He had only claimed to be Christ the King.
The people instantly choose Barabbas.
Can you imagine Barabbas standing there hearing the people screaming for him? Knowing that he had murdered. Knowing that he had sinned. Looking over at Jesus who hadn't murdered, and hadn't sinned.
|Reenactment of Jesus praying in the garden, knowing he is about to be betrayed.|
What must it be like to be on the other end of self-sacrifice? To be the one who has been sacrificed for?
To be the son-in-law headed back to earth knowing your father-in-law is about to explode with an asteroid so you can love his daughter and take care of her?
To be a murderer who is set free, while you look upon an innocent man who will be dying for your sins?
To be a child who grows up and is able to live their life because their teacher shielded them from gun fire as a maniac attacked their classroom?
|The crucifixion of Christ.|
If your life isn't short of spectacular, if you don't live every day to its fullest, if you don't do some sort of good for mankind, wouldn't it all be a waste?
For someone to have invested that much into you the best return you could possibly give is to use the gift you've been given to its absolute fullest.
|The Resurrection of Christ.|
While I can't imagine the weight of emotion that must come with witnessing someone sacrifice them self for me, I count myself among them, as you should too.
As I watched the end of the Bible series, I thought to myself, "Gee, the Bible never finishes that story of Barabbas. What did he do after he had been set free? Did he continue murdering? Or did he recognize what Jesus had done for him? Did he realize that an innocent man had just died in his place? Did he turn his life around? Did he use his life for good?"
My mind wandered to other moments of self-sacrifice in movies (clearly, from my Armageddon novel) and real life (recent shootings in Colorado and Connecticut). I thought, "I can't possibly imagine what it is like to know someone died for me. To have watched it happen before my eyes,"
No, I've not witnessed someone sacrifice their life for me. I place that on a completely different level of impact and emotion.
But I do know someone has died for me.
I am Barabbas.
I am a sinner. One of my least favorite expressions I hear people constantly say is, "I deserve this". I deserve nothing but death. Yet, I have been given an incredible gift: Life.
Someone has sacrificed everything they possibly could for me, taken the weight of every single one of my sins for me. It is up to me if I choose to forget this, simply because it didn't happen before my eyes, or to embrace it by doing the most I can for others while I am on this earth.
You might not be a murderer, but you are Barabbas too.
Make your life count.