Seven Pounds – Not for the faint of heart (no pun intended) – don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie and are going to…
I just finished watching Seven Pounds. As is customary for me, I figured the plot out in about 15 minutes. That usually annoys me, however in this case I think it was good for me to know what was to come. This is a hard movie to watch. I had heard mixed reviews on it, but wanted still to see it for myself.
I’m trying to press the feelings out of me this movie has conjured up. It’s like that scene in Harry Potter where he has to find the right key to open the door and there are tons of them floating in the room and he’s looking and looking but so overwhelmed by all the keys at once. That is how I feel. So many emotions, but I can’t grab the right one to explain.
This is a heavy plot, this is a plot laced with hopelessness and sadness and you feel it from the get go. This is a plot I believe many of us in so many ways can relate to because it is a story about the quest for redemption. If you have ever been as messed up and lost as I have been then you can relate to the unmanageable desire to really feel forgiven, redeemed…free. I think in so many ways, even though we know we have grace, the reality is most of us have to beg to feel it over and over. Our humanness picks up our past sins and time and time again we try with all our might to obliterate it from cognizance, but as hard as we try, the mess is still committed to memory. Along with the mess, the emotion of it can cast a shadow over you as if you were experiencing the offense all over again. So we pick it up…and set out to break free from it. We try with all our might to gain some control over it, always aware we can never really forgive ourselves. So what is the point?
There are times when I feel so defeated by my past sins that it gets me running again, seeking breathlessly for deliverance. But all in all I know redemption is not mine to give…and never to be earned. What bothers me about this movie is Will’s hopeless end. He pieces out himself to either save other peoples lives, or make them better and in the end he’s dead. He has no idea if what he did was helpful, or even to be around to feel the redemption. So is it that we need to feel it or that we need to punish ourselves for passed crimes? My point is there is no longer any sacrifice for sin (Heb 10:18) so why are we constantly trying to redeem ourselves. Will Smith has suffered major tragedy and has set out to make it right, to redeem himself, to fix it. The problem is no matter how hard we try to fix things by earning our redemption we won’t succeed. Micah 7:18 says ‘Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.’
There is only one way to gain redemption. There is only one way to receive grace. There is only one way to truly recognize forgiveness and that is at the foot of the cross. We might live our entire lives returning to His feet begging for him to take the feelings of hopelessness away, but the fact is we are returning. It’s when we stop seeking His face to save us that we fall short. Smith never realizes the redemption in this movie for by the end, he’s not around to even know it…what redemption is there in that?
What I know is this: There is suffering. There is suffering in Christ, but there is hope in Christ, and best of all…there IS redemption.