Dunkirk and the Gospel
I watched the movie Dunkirk and it is an excellent movie. There is one scene in the movie that has a poignant picture of the gospel worth thinking about.
We see it in this: An English fighter pilot is trapped in his downed plane on the waters of the English Chanel. The pilot hoped to escape through the glass hatch on the ceiling of his plane, but it is stuck and will not open. All the while, water is pouring into the cockpit and he is facing the real reality that he will drown. He does everything he can to break free: slamming it fists and using his arms and trying to break it open with his flare gun. But nothing works: the window is jammed shut and won’t open and the water is over his head. Then suddenly, when all seemed utterly hopeless, a wooden oar from a boat nearby smashes the window and the pilot is broken free and saved.
This picture is very similar to our condition as humans because of our sin. We know we’re meant to love God and live for Him, but we can’t fix or save ourselves. Sin and idols turn our hearts away from God. In fact, we’re in an even worse state than the pilot: because sin has such power on us, we don’t even want to be saved if means that we would have to give up our sin. But our death is approaching and we are accountable to a holy God: will stand before him in judgment and will face the consequences. We are on a sinking plane headed to the destruction of everlasting hell.
But, when all seemed utterly hopeless, God in His mercy and grace smashed through the glass of our sin, blindness, and rebellion and rescues us in Christ. Jesus came, as Matthew 1:21 says “to save his people from their sins” and he did this through the cross where he destroyed the power of sin and death that reigned over God’s people. He paid the penalty and died for sinners. As the gospel is preached, God, in His outrageous grace and kindness, comes and gives us new desires and affections and spiritual life. The Holy Spirit awakens us as to the glory of Christ and we see that he is more wonderful than everything. Such is what happens when people become Christians.