revenantRachel Dotzler – Student Pastor, Mesa campus

Spoiler alert ahead!

Movies are captivating. I love the stories and imagination they bring to one’s mind. The beautiful art that is captured takes me to an incredible place, perhaps that is why I love books so much as well. I love getting lost in stories, discovering characters, and cheering on the hero. Movies bring your imagination to life and I truly love every moment I am on a journey through one. Call me old school, but a solid night with my husband would be at the movies. The experience of walking into those doors where the wind blows in your face as you enter and a buttery popcorn smell hits you like a wall. The ticket guy rips your ticket and tells you, “theater 5 to your left,” and so often I giggle because they are thinking hard to make sure they tell you the correct direction since they are facing the opposite way.

As you continue on, the struggle begins of whether or not you buy candy, a soda, or popcorn.

If you are anything like me, you tend to go for all three. I have no shame at all, even when my husband begins to roll his eyes at me.

$50 later I get to walk down the hallways looking above for the theater that my movie is playing in. With great excitement I walk through the doors of the theater and enter in to the enchanting, dark place that I will spend the next two exhilarating hours or so enjoying an adventure that will capture my heart and imagination.

This experience happens for me every time I go to the movies. I just love the journey and the stories I get to dive into. Every experience is different depending on the movie that I am seeing. My preferred choice of movie is either action, thriller, war, or just an epic motion picture. Those are the ones that truly capture my heart! On Friday night I went to go see a movie and hands down it was one of the most incredible movies I have ever seen. The Revenant had me on the edge of my seat desperately awaiting for what was going to happen next. There were times I forgot I was watching a movie and I felt as if I was there. The cinematography, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the storyline were some of my favorite things about it.

I believe all movies have a message within the plot and storyline. Let’s be honest, all stories have some message that the communicator is trying to tell us and The Revenant had an incredible message that left me walking away seeking more on the topic. Hugh Glass, the main character played by DiCaprio, lived an extraordinarily difficult life and most of the movie is him seeking revenge for multiple reasons. The whole movie you are on his side wanting him to be successful in his revenge, which I know is not something we should be siding with. When we see or hear stories of people wronging us or others there is a sense of pride and entitlement within us that says, “you deserve this, you don’t deserve this, you deserve death” etc. and its then that I realize that lack of love is easy to justify; easy, and so wrong.

Hugh Glass says something at the end of the movie that I know to be true and yet we so often forget…

Revenge is in God’s hands…not mine.

What an incredible statement. The Revenant takes you on a journey of one man fighting for his life and seeking revenge for everything that has happened to him and yet, when revenge is literally in his hands, he doesn’t take it and instead acknowledges some intense truth. You see, God asks us to do three things with our enemies; give love, offer forgiveness, and pray for those who persecute you. Leave the rest to God and trust that He knows what He is doing, because He DOES church! He does. Revenge will only bring you into a state of hatred, bitterness, and pride. It will destroy you inside and out and that is why God gives us great warning about how we deal with our enemies. Leave it up to Him so that we may understand what it means to truly forgive and to love those who have wronged us. When we understand this truth, it will indeed set you free.

To me, movies are more than just hollywood, money, and actors. They are stories that portray something incredible for us to learn and The Revenant reminded me and took me to this verse that I will leave here with you today. Love, be loved, and know love Central!

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21

The Revenant, Revenge, and God

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