By Caleb Bobrycki
Image Credit: Warner Bro.s
Fun and Smart
It has been thirty years since we last saw Max fighting wild tribes in this post-apocalyptic earth, but now, the stakes are higher, the villains are fiercer, and everyone is much more mad. Max remains a lone warrior, haunted by his failures, and doing everything to remain loyal to no cause. In attempt to free himself from a vicious tyrant, he gets sucked into, yet another, whirlwind of loyalty and insanity.
Mad Max, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, is basically everything anyone could ask for from an action movie. This will probably catch most by surprise because action plots have disintegrated, as has the audience. At the moment, I cannot put my finger on any specific faults with the film as a whole, considering everything I think director George Miller set out to do. The structure of the film, and every structure that pieces it together, is super fun and intelligent. I highly recommend this well-plotted, well-choreographed film, for both the general and stricter critics.
Especially impressive is the weighty message that we are all wandering the wasteland of life, looking for redemption from haunting failures. The movie ends with a quote that symbolizes the film’s desert landscape as Max’s broken past, and the groups search for, what they call, the Green Place as his seeking for redemption. “Where must we go…We who wander this Wasteland... In search of our better selves?” (The First History Man). Mad Max illuminates our haunting failures. And Jesus’ grace is always most highly exalted where sin is most haunting.
The Thirstier the Man...
There is not one person on planet Earth who, in the quiet moments of life, isn’t haunted by some sort of failure, pain, or the reality that life could be better. Everyone is looking for a “Green Place”, like the fugitives in the film; but Max keeps reminding us that he is looking for more than a superficial hope. He is looking for redemption from his mistakes. Everyone enjoys a glass of cold water; but anyone would agree that the thirstier a man, the greater the water will taste. For the church, Max and Furiosa, our main characters, represent individuals who will appreciate the Green Place more than those traveling with them, not because they are better, but because they are worse.
Now, I realize that this may seem like semantics, but I think the general point is that while some of the group wants a good land, others want it more because of their darker pasts; some of the group would appreciate the water of a good land, but others would tremble with gratitude because greater experienced pain. Max wants redemption because he failed his previous “Green Place”. He failed his family. Therefore, I submit this to you: one’s spiritual vigor and vitality should not communicate that he or she is a better Christian, but a worse one and in need of much weightier hope. Only wicked sinners can receive and truly appreciate the greatness of redemption.
...The More Excellent the Water
Now, notice that the water is exalted as excellent, not thirst. The truth is, when Jesus saves sinners, he gets the glory, not the sinner; the worth of Jesus’ rich water of life is seen as most excellent, not the sinner’s thirst. This is a problem with much heresy taught today. We often exalt our need of grace over and against Christ. Everything I write is designed to help Christians see the glory of the grace of Christ, not our need. Rest in Christ, not how much you need him.
Are we not all searching in this barren wasteland for the sweet water of the removal of our wicked pasts? But so many find the grace of Jesus to simply be the answer to their record of debt and do not boast in the excellency of their Lord and Savior! Friends, if you are searching for redemption, look no further than to Jesus Christ, God incarnate; and if you find it, never take it for granted. If Christ has given you the redemption you long for, rest in that wealthy grace until you die. I hope to God that the triumphal procession I lead does not boast in thirst but in the royalty of Jesus Christ, the river of living water. I plead with you to come and drink, and be nothing more than a sinner that treasures the wealth of Jesus more than anything else on planet Earth:
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Revelation 22:17 ESV)