Twenty years ago I watched a movie called The Sacrifice that made a dramatic impact on me. A father was forced into an impossible decision between the life of his son and the lives of passengers on a train that passes over a truss that the father is responsible for raising and lowering.
That was before I had children. I was moved by the allegory of the atonement of Christ. I parsed and compared and concluded that God’s sacrifice was more deliberate, planned, perhaps.
Tonight I’m watching a 2003 Academy Award nominated live action short called MOST.
Directed by Bobby Garabedian, the film was shot in Czech Republic and Poland and has English subtitles. MOST is about a father and his son who love each other very much. The plot of the movie is very much like The Sacrifice. MOST is Polish for a bridge. The father is forced into an anguishing and incomprehensible decision that will affect the lives of many–most who do not even know what has been done for them.
Two things are very different from twenty years ago.
First, I’m a father of three children and to lose even one of them is my worst fear in life. I have children now, and the equations about atonement are only solved by one factor–the mutual love that father and child share. Planned, deliberate, spontaneous, anguished, undesired. None of this matters and all of it matters but certainly figuring out exactly how deliberate God was or planned or unplanned from day one the sacrifice of Christ was, matters less to me than the lifetime quest to grasp how wide and deep and infathomable is the love of Father, Son, and Spirit.
Second, the setting shows deep insight into the love of a Czech father for his child, how they interact as serious friends and playful mates. The inconceivable decision the father must make is amazingly redeemed in a surprise ending that made me smile through my tears.
This is a must see short movie. MOST
God’s story foreshadows the sacrifice of Christ in the amazing story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is given the insane (in my human comprehension) command to put his own son on the altar for sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Heavy with grief, Abraham obeys. Yet an angel of the Lord holds his hand back from striking the boy, a ram is provided, and the two happily call the place “the Lord will provide.”
Sharing faith with our children begins and ends with embodying the incredible love of the Father for his creation.
Often I tell my children, “I am God’s love sent to you in the flesh.”
Some children in the world don’t get to experience this because their fathers do not love them. I was able to experience this through my parents and grandparents. I am incredibly blessed, and I can embody this love of God as I pass this on to my children.
I continue telling them, “I am your father. I love you, your mother loves you, and you get to live the love of God in our relationship. That’s how it begins, and God’s love breaks the boundaries of this family and you’ll see it and experience it throughout your life. But this is where it starts, right here in your family. Learn to love here first, and friendships you have in the future will have God in them, too.”
Sharing faith with our children is a MOST that leads us both continually back to God.