Ant-Man came out in July. It was awesome. Not Guardians of the Galaxy awesome, but pretty close. Many were wondering why Marvel would bring about such a character that isn’t so well known and doesn’t really have any notable super villains (they were so in need of a super villain that they used an alias of Ant-Man, Yellow Jacket, for the villain). Yet they pulled it off and it was awesome fun. It wasn’t just a super hero movie, it was a heist movie in the vein of The Italian Job or Oceans 11 (but it wasn’t a remake).
But it’s a movie about more than just that. It’s a movie about redemption, reconciliation, and restoration.
(*attention possible spoilers*…that is if you haven’t yet seen the movie, if not, stop reading, go see the flick, come back and read)
Scott Lang is in need of redemption. He’s a felon. He’s a cat burglar (something he points out a lot…he’s burglared, not robbed, that involves violence, he was a non-violent burglar). He’s released from prison, time served. Yet he can’t get a job (or even hold one at Baskin Robbins). He can’t see his daughter or talk to his ex-wife. He has a major black mark on his life. He’s also looking for reconciliation and restoration. He wants to reconcile with his ex-wife. He’s done her wrong and he understands. He wants to have a relationship restored with his ex-wife and daughter. He doesn’t want to get back together with his ex-wife, but to at least sit down and have a nice dinner with her or be at his daughter’s birthday party, that’s all. And so he seeks and longs for these three things.
The same is with Hank Pym. He’s looking for that same redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. He’s done his daughter wrong. He feels guilty for the death of his wife. He feels guilty for pushing his daughter away when she needed him most. He feels guilty about what he’s done with his company and what he’s done in the past for SHIELD. He wants that redemption from his past and reconciliation and restoration with his daughter.
Luis on the other hand doesn’t event think of these things. They don’t even come to his mind at all. When we first meet Luis he’s picking up Scott Lang from prison. His father had been deported recently, his grandmother died, but hey, he has this awesome van so all’s good.
Scott wants a new lease on life while Luis wants to do another job which he thinks will score big. It doesn’t. Scott’s in jail again. And that’s when Hank Pym offers him the three things Scott so wants–redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. Granted it’s in the form of breaking in and stealing stuff–but for a good reason and cause.
In their pursuit of their own redemption, they realize they need help in pulling off the heist. This is where Luis comes in. He has a team together. Two other guys who are also criminals. Two other guys who don’t realize they too are in need of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. They just see it as an awesome job to pull off.
Did I mention the Pym Particles that make people shrink and grow? Yeah, that’s all part of it too but it’s more of a background thing rather than the main thrust. It’s the means to how they’ll pull off the heist and how they’ll work towards the redemption, reconciliation, and restoration.
In the great heist, Luis says something that struck me (as he struck someone else in the face). He says to Scott “Hey, Scotty, we’re the good guys here aren’t we?” Scott: “Yes.” Luis: “Feels weird.” And then Luis does something new, he helps one of the bad guys when the whole building’s about to implode. His life is different. In being given an opportunity to do something good, because he was offered the same redemption that Scott and Hank Pym were after, he accepted it and lived it.
Here’s the thing about Luis. He’s not a goofball. He’s a very intelligent, emotionally secure, strong man. He’s the only one who was able to punch out Peaches at the good-bye ceremony when leaving prison. He has a good understanding of his own emotions and life itself. He has a great understanding of the arts and wine. He can make solid connections between events. He’s very intelligent. He does crime because, well, he’s good at it and it’s his lot in life and he does it well. He doesn’t see a need for redemption until he sees Scott seeking it and telling him why it’s important.
To be honest, (and this is where the spiritual part comes in for a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday on Spiritual Musclehead), we are all in need of the same thing that Scott Lang and Hank Pym were seeking. We’re all in need of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration with others. In the end, not only do Scott and Hank Pym get this, so does Luis in his own unique way. He goes from being a criminal to helping others and being part of a team that wants to offer the same thing to others. In our hearts, we all seek this. But, like Luis, we don’t always realize we want it or need it until we see it.
The thing is, is that this redemption we seek, that Scott and Hank Pym sought, that Luis wanted, we can’t do it on our own. We can’t get it on our own. The ultimate redemption, reconciliation, and restoration comes to us in Jesus. It comes to us through his death and resurrection. And it leads to a restoration and reconciliation with the God of the universe himself.
When we acknowledge and receive this redemption, reconciliation, and restoration with God through Jesus, we can begin living this out in our lives with others. In fact, we can live it out in our own lives as we live it out in others. As we live this out, we are able to help others begin to live it too. As we talk about it, live it, know it, give it, we are able to begin to help others want and seek this same thing.
Scott Lang and Hank Pym wanted it and sought it. And they got it in the end. Hank Pym reconciled with his daughter and restored their relationship. As did Scott Lang. And in doing so, so Luis learned about it and began to live it. True redemption of our lives, true reconciliation, true restoration comes to us in Jesus. And in Jesus we too can live it.
Do you have this redemption? This reconciliation? This restoration? If yes, then live it and give it to others as Jesus did for you. If not, seek it, learn about it, be willing to be taught it. For it’s out there and it’s free and it’s life changing. It changed not only Hank Pym’s life and Scott Lang’s life, but it changed Luis’ life and it can change yours too.