I love movies, and I often refer to them in what I write, like today.
I was reading in 2 Corinthians 5 when it made me think of one of my favorite movies. Verse 17 is one that, if you don’t recognize it by its reference, you will surely recognize it once you read it. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” It is one of those “this pretty much settles it” kinds of verses, reminding us of the forgiveness and righteousness that become ours when we accept the saving grace of Jesus.
We wrap ourselves up in that verse. Time and again, when Satan tries to remind us of our “Before” picture, we can use those words to remind him, and ourselves, that the “Before” picture is no longer what God sees.
I’ve heard more than one visual representation given for this verse over the years. Whether it’s a covering of Christ’s robe or of Christ’s blood, they are given to help the listener know and understand that Jesus makes a difference. In fact, He makes the difference. He stands between God and sin--my sin--and changes what God sees when He looks at me.
So, where does the movie come in?
“So, from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”
When I have read that verse before, I’ve often read it for how it affects me. Verse 17, telling me that my old self is gone, waits just around the corner, so I’ve always reminded myself to look at other folks with the knowing that I’ve become new. And that’s when I thought of National Treasure.
To me, National Treasure is one of the most brilliantly crafted historical fiction movies I’ve ever seen. It tells the tale of a mystery that can only be solved when all the clues are in place, including the simple movement of a hinged lens in a pair of 200-year-old glasses.
The main character, Ben Gates, has been arrested and is handcuffed to a chair at FBI headquarters. He has kind of stolen the Declaration of Independence, but he did it to keep it safe from the thieving hands of his former business/treasure-hunting partner. The special glasses he found, as the result of other clues, have been confiscated by an FBI agent who now finds the need to fidget with them where they sit on his desk. The agent keeps moving one of the hinged lenses up and down, up and down, not realizing that Ben is having a light-bulb-over-his-head kind of moment as he looks through them from the other side.
Ben had already used the glasses to read a hidden map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, but he was left confused when it hadn’t told him everything he thought it would. However, when he saw the result of moving the extra lens, he realized one very important thing: “There’s more to it.”
There’s more to the clue.
And there’s more to verse 16 than just how God sees me. It also tells me how He sees other Christians, and how I am supposed to do the same.
I am not the only one made new. Verse 17 tells me “If anyone. . .” and that anyone means everyone who has accepted Jesus as their Savior. So, when I am told in verse 16 to regard no one by a worldly point of view, I must see those “anyone” folks through the same special glasses that God uses.
New in forgiveness, new in righteousness, I’ve been given a new point of view. When all the clues are in place and I slip on the special glasses that change how I see everything and everyone who is in Christ, I will see others the way God sees me. Forgiven. Righteous. A suitable and invited resident of heaven.
Ben Gates found his treasure. And so have I. I have found the joy of seeing another Christian through the “After” lens, rather than the “Before” lens, just like God sees me.
More priceless than gold and more precious than silver is the treasure that is the child of God. No wonder Isaiah 33:6 says, “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.”
©2014 Wendi Miller
Information taken from:
National Treasure. Dir. Jon Turteltaub. Perf. Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha. Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Junction Entertainment, Saturn Films. 2004. VHS.
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"It needs a rewrite if Jesus isn't the hero."