Posted: November 2, 2009 in Gospel

I recently watched the movie Atonement. I don’t necessarily recommend the movie, but the premise of the movie was interesting: A 10 year old girl (Briony) wrongly testified against an innocent man (Robbie) by saying that she saw him commit a heinous crime, when she didn’t actually see the man because it was dark. Her older sister (Cecilia) was in love with Robbie and they got ripped apart when he got sent to prison. To make a rather long story short, both Robbie and Cecilia died young and never got a chance for their love to reconnect. Briony realizes her dreadful sin and spends her whole life caring the guilt of her sin. It torments her as she spends her life trying to make atonement for her lie that ruined the lives of two people. The main thing she does is write a novel and change the reality of what happened to Robbie and Cecilia. In her novel, Cecelia and Robbie get back together and live a happy and full life. After a life of trying to right her wrong she knows that it is not enough to change what she did and at one point she says, “No matter how hard I work, I can’t escape from what I did, and what it meant.”

We are a lot like Briony. We want to make amends for our sins by our own doing and working. But we simply cannot make atonement for our own sin because of the holiness of the One we sinned against. Briony realized that she sinned greatly against Robbie and Cecilia, and she did; but the thing she didn’t realize was that her sin was even greater against God, and far more despicable towards God and his Character. The only way we can atone for our sin, is to recognize that we can’t, and trust in the substitutionary atonement of another, namely Jesus Christ. Only his perfect work on our behalf is sufficient to make us right in the eyes of a holy God. Unless we rest in Christ’s finished work, like Briony, we too will spend a life time working to make atonement on our own, which will be in vain.

  1. randy says:

    good thoughts. Keep up the good thinking.

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