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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Banks’

My wife and I had to chance to finally sit down and watch “The Next 3 Days,” the latest film (now on DVD) starring Russell Crowe with Elizabeth Banks. The premise: happily married with a young son, Lara (Banks) is arrested for the murder of her boss. She appears innocent but the evidence is too much and she sent to prison. John, a community college professor, then does everything he can to clear her but when appeals fail, he puts in motion a plan to break her out of jail. Sounds pretty good, right? A husband strives to fight for and rescue his wife? The movie is intense but falls short a bit. But there is one amazing truth about our culture that this movie exposes. Beware, from this point forward, there will be many spoilers.

Does it Matter if She’s Innocent?

Throughout the entire movie, her innocence is in question. John is convinced. Lara claims innocence and acts innocent. But the evidence against her is overwhelming. Is she really innocent? I was in doubt for most of the movie and she seems to confess her guilt during one critical scene. Of course, after they have escaped all safe and sound, the end gives a big reveal of what really happened. The writer shows that she truly was innocent and in the wrong place at the wrong time. But this reveal is purely for our sake. Why? Why does it matter? It matters because we want love and justice. We want John to rescue her out of his love for her and to win the day. But we also want justice. It would indeed matter to us if she killed her boss and then got away with it. We would respect her husband’s efforts but we would rage that a crime was not paid for.

The writer and director knows that this matters to us. That’s why the end scenes are in there. Do you realize how profound that is? If she wasn’t innocent, her husband’s love would not be enough, especially on top of the compromises he has to make in his own path of wreckage to break her out. Love is not enough in our worldly perspective. We want love but we don’t want hell. We thirst for justice but we want second chances for ourselves and those we care about. The Next 3 Days just emphasizes how we cannot fathom how you can actually satisfy both.

Only Jesus Satisfies Both Love and Justice

This is the truth that this film indirectly revealed fresh to me: Jesus satisfied both love and justice. In The Next 3 Days, John’s love leads to her rescue but he has to break the law to do it. It’s merely the lesser of the two evils: her escape over a few drug dealers’ lives. Even then it only feels right because we find out she truly was innocent.

This is not how Jesus redeems us. Jesus broke us out of jail by paying for it himself. He demonstrates his love for going to all measures to get us but even more so because we were not innocent. We are guilty of capital sin against God. There is no doubt. We are not convicted purely out of circumstantial evidence but the evidence is as good as video and multiple witnesses all telling the exact same story. Justice needs to be satisfied for our sin and Jesus fulfills it himself. He took the guilt and suffering of hell on himself.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)

Do we realize how much better this is than getting illegally busted out of prison for a crime we didn’t commit and then living free but on the run the rest of your life, like Lara and John, always looking behind, waiting for that one day when you’re found out? There’s no looking back in Christ. Your sin is paid for. You’re never going back to prison. There are no authorities looking for you. You’re clear and your record has been wiped clean forever. Jesus is the only one who satisfied the justice that sin demanded and yet loved us so much He took it on Himself and restored our relationship with the Father.

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