Released in the summer of 2013, “Redemption” stars Jason Statham as a man battling his own violent tendencies. He wants desperately to be a “good man,” and thinks he can do it by doing enough good deeds to balance his badness—a killer with a conscience. The nun who helps him wants to earn her own redemption by making a difference in the life of someone else. “Did I change his life?” she wonders.
It was the title that drew me in—okay, Jason Statham had a little to do with it. But it was a misnomer—there wasn’t any redemption in the film. Both lead characters had back stories full of pain, and were presently trying to find a way to balance the scales with goodness—but they were too broken, and in the end they fade into nothingness hoping they won’t mess up what little good they did.
The movie ends in pain—people still hopeless and broken.
The truth of redemption is that it starts with brokenness and ends with a clean slate—but none of that comes through our own strivings. It’s a gift of love, freely offered to all, and given to those who will accept it.
It begins with a confession of our brokenness, with a realization of God’s love for us, with an understanding of Jesus’ merciful gift by taking all of our guilt onto himself and paying the price for it all. His sacrifice means our sinful debts are paid in full—in God’s eyes we are clean.
That’s redemption. That’s hope. That’s love.