I recently saw the new movie Iron Man 3 at the theater. As I expected, this movie was well done in the areas of special effects, acting and cinematography. What surprised me about the movie was that its plot was rather deep as well. There is a phenomena of action movies relying on their stunts and effects to wow and entertain at the expense of a good and thought provoking story line; however, Iron Man 3 did not disappoint me in this way. I did notice an interesting parallel to another movie, a much older movie. The older movie is called The Mission. The Mission stars Robert De Niro and it tells the story of a Spanish Conquistador/Slave Trader. De Niro's character is eventually confronted by the brutality of his actions in enslaving the indigenous people's of South America and he gives up that life in order to serve them. There is a group of Jesuit priests/missionaries who take him in. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when De Niro's character is carrying his old conquistador suit of armor up a cliff. It is for him a form of penance for all the pain and suffering he had caused so many people. As he is about to reach the top of the cliff, he looks as if he is not quite going to make it and may even fall to a gruesome death, and that is when it happens. One of the Jesuit priests cuts the rope between him and the net holding his armor and it falls all the way down to the bottom of the cliff. It is an absolutely amazing picture of grace and the freedom that comes from being set free from our mistakes, sins and brokenness.
In Iron Man 3, there is a scene where Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) is trudging through some snow, with his thoroughly beat up Iron Man suit and not seconds into the scene it reminded me of De Niro carrying his suit of armor in much the same fashion. Iron Man 3 begins with Tony Stark's voice narrating about how we create our own demons, and sometimes they come back to haunt us. Without giving away the plot of how Iron Man saves the day, since he is a super hero, I will simply say this. Salvation in Iron Man 3, comes by way of picking yourself up by your boot straps, being smarter, stronger and more capable than you were before. Salvation by way of The Mission comes through grace, mercy and forgiveness; and that requires accepting God's grace for us, and then giving ourselves grace as well. Salvation by faith through GRACE.