England may have their plethora of Bond spy novels and movies … but on this side of the pond, we’ve got our Ethan Hunt of the IMF. And have him we definitely do … for over 50 years now. There was the 1966-73 TV series produced by Desilu, then Paramount. And it starred Leonard Nimoy among the cast! Then it was revived in the 80s by ABC. But most of us know it by that 5’7” stud, Tom Cruise. Do you realize he started these films in 1996 and this year makes six films in the series? 1996! Six!
Trivia Quiz: Only two actors have been in all six movies. Can you name them? And only one villain has been in two movies. Can you name which villain? In the 2011 film, Pegg says, “Everybody gets to wear a mask, but Benji.” Who is the only person to wear a mask in the recent film? And he gets to wear two!
A couple things I ponder concerning this film. The first is the recurring role and the film’s importance to the plot of wearing masks. There is deception, double-crossing, falsehoods, and misdirects. It is vital to the flow of the movie, and essential for IMF to get their job done. In the recent edition, when the mask maker is damaged, Hunt has to improvise big time. I realize this is a movie, and a type of spy movie at that, but I find Christians are often wearing masks. We don’t reveal our true self to others out of fear of rejection, guilt, shame, or a number of other excuses. We say things are ‘fine’ when we are crying out from the inside. We trust few and live in a bondage of performance.
But what we should be realizing is that Jesus sees the muck, the mess, the guilt, the shame, the bondage – He knows our real self. And even then – He loves us. We are accepted. We live by faith in what He has done for us and for each brother and sister in Christ. So we should not be afraid to remove the mask and live in His forgiveness.
This call to be authentic, honest, and humble should be what draws people to Christ, not drive them away. Live on freedom – not bondage to a mask.
Second, repeated several times is the villains’ key line to their manifesto – “there cannot be peace without a great suffering – and the greater the suffering, the greater the peace.” Wow. So much in this. In all of history, I can think of no greater suffering than the perfect, loving second person of the trinity taking our sins and our punishment. And I can think of no greater peace than the peace of God and the peace with God. In this world, we have tribulation, but He has overcome this world and brings the peace each of us need and cry our for.
The real mission impossible – having peace with God on our own – has been provided through the great passion – the great suffering of our Lord. With man – impossible. But with God – all things are possible. Now that’s a great reality.
Artwork from this ministry