By Rev Alan Millar
In the film ‘The Mission’ Robert De Niro plays Rodrigo Mendoza, an 18th century mercenary who kidnaps South American natives, selling them to work as slaves in the local plantation.
Upon his return to the city he discovers that his ‘wee’ woman and his brother have become romantically attached.
Killing his brother in a duel, Rodrigo descends into a deep depression. He finally asks Brother Gabriel, a Jesuit, if he can join his Order. Rodrigo becomes a novice.
Father Gabriel, his group of Jesuits, with Rodrigo travel deep into the jungle to take the gospel to the native people and stop the slave trade.
As a self imposed penance for killing his brother, Rodrigo drags all of his soldierly gear in a huge rope net behind him.
The journey is gruelling for the ordinary traveller - much worse for Rodrigo. Finally, at the top of a hill, they encounter the native people. Rodrigo is last to reach the top and is instantly recognised by the natives as their enemy.
After a lot of shouting between the natives one draws his knife, runs over to Rodrigo, pulls his head back and is poised to kill him, but instead cuts the rope around Rodrigo, freeing him from his heavy burden.
Rodrigo was freed from his burden and the trappings of his past life by the people he had sinned against.
As we approach Easter we remember the one who freed us from the burden of sin, the one whom we sinned against, God’s own Son, Jesus.
Many people walk around carrying the burden of sin without even realising they are under a burden of sin.
If this is you, then you have to know that you can be free of that sin, and the burden it brings.
All you need do is tell Jesus you are a sinner, and ask forgiveness. It was because of God’s great love for us that he showed us mercy, that is, he sent Jesus to take our punishment.
God offers us His grace, that is, He gives us what we don’t deserve, He gives salvation, and the gift of eternal life to all who believe what Jesus has done for us on the cross at Calvary.
But come’ere, there’s more! On Easter morning Jesus arose from the dead and lives and reigns forever, and so will we if we believe. What a Saviour!