The Love of a Father

Just finished watching the movie, Taken. Wow, Jesus loves us. God’s love for us as a Father, like Liam Neeson’s love for His daughter… mind-blowing, earth-shattering, soul-surrendering.

Taken, 2008

Taken came out in 2008, but I had only heard about it – never seen it. Recently, at a Christian conference, a speaker referenced it in light of the Gospel. I would have never thought about it that way on my own. Then, a book I was reading referenced it again in light of the Gospel…within days. Tonight, my husband and I watched it. So many things stood out.

1.) Pain & sin.

Sam: The specialty of the groups coming out of this area is trafficking in women.

Bryan: Keep going.

Sam: Okay. Their previous MO was to offer women from the emerging East-European countries like Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria jobs in the west as maids and nannies. Once they smuggled them in, they’d addict them to drugs and turn them into prostitutes. Lately, however, they’ve decided that it’s more economical just to kidnap traveling young women. Saves on transportation costs.

Lenore: [crying] Not my little baby.

Bryan: What else?

Sam: Based on what they know about the way these groups operate, our analyst says you have a ninety-six hour window from the time she was grabbed.

Bryan: To what?

Sam: To never finding her. (Excerpt from Taken)

2.) Human Trafficking – a.k.a women and children often kidnapped, then sold as slaves.

Yes, Taken is a fictional movie but human trafficking is real. I just met a young woman from Houston who is passionate about reaching out to women in brothels there. As stated on the website of Manna Freedom, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking, “The U.S. Department of Justice estimates 100,000 to 300,000 American kids under 18 are involved in prostitution and often targeted by sexual predators annually. According to the FBI, the average age of a child sexually exploited is 11. The average age of entry for a girl into prostitution is 13, for a boy 12. The U.S. cities where human trafficking is worst are: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, DC.”

Manna Freedom’s 2 minute video gives an overview of human trafficking:

3.) One Hope

In the movie, it is the love of the father for his daughter that overcomes all odds, common sense, and evil. The father shows complete lack of concern for his own well-being and sacrifices anything and everything necessary to rescue his daughter who is enslaved, destined for a tortured existence.

Jesus did that for us… is all I could say as my husband asked if I was crying. Yes, I definitely was. Jesus did that for us – entered into our broken, messed up world filled with incomprehensible evil and He stopped at nothing to rescue us, win us back… even when we lied to him, used him, turned our back on Him… He still came for us. And He won. He won us back… yet so many of us, and so often, we spit on Him and refuse His gift, His desire for a relationship.

We miss His love.

It’s there.

It’s our one hope. And we’re never too far gone.

“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” -1 John 4:9-10, MSG

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” -Romans 8:38-39, MSG

Thank you, Jesus.

To learn more about this hope, check out EveryStudent.com.

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