By Joshua Cooley
In director M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable, a football stadium security guard named David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) is the only survivor of various tragedies. With the help of a sadistic comic book expert (played by—who else?—Samuel L. Jackson), Dunn realizes he has superhuman abilities.
It’s a common superhero trope: average guy becomes aware that he’s different from everyone else (hello, Peter Parker!) and must accept the implications of his new reality. This storyline also represents age-old wishful thinking. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs believed they would be deified in the afterlife (if not sooner). The ancient Greeks and Romans worshiped a large pantheon of gods and demigods, the latter being individuals imbued with divine powers. Humans have always aspired beyond mortality.
But let’s be honest: Humanity is not unbreakable. Not even close. A movie about our actual condition could be titled, Broken…Very, Very Broken. It probably wouldn’t be boffo at the box office, but at least it’s accurate.
Brokenness has been our plight for all but a few fleeting moments of history. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve everything they could ever need. But they wanted more. Under Satan’s temptation, they questioned God’s goodness, doubted His words, and rebelled against His command. They ate the only fruit forbidden to them. Their sin ushered in fear, shame, hatred, suffering, and death—and the world has never been the same.
A prevailing thought in society is that humans are mostly good. Sure, the world tells us we all have our peccadilloes—minor flaws here and there. But nobody’s perfect! In general, humanity is on the upswing! We improve and evolve as we become more self-aware and gain greater knowledge in science, technology, the arts, etc. Right?
According to Scripture, the human condition isn’t simply a matter of a few small character blemishes that can easily be patched up with a little extra effort. It’s downright reprehensible. Apart from God, we look exactly like the description of wayward Judah in Isaiah 1:4: “Oh sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, brood of evildoers, depraved children! They have abandoned the LORD; they have despised the Holy One of Israel; they have turned their backs on him.”
Our very nature is set against God. Like Adam and Eve, we question God’s goodness, doubt His words, and reject His commands. For this, we are cursed (Deuteronomy 28:15–19). Broken, indeed.That’s the bleak reality apart from God.
But there’s hope! The Lord saw our wretched condition and graciously provided a path of reconciliation. Before Adam and Eve even left the garden, God promised an “offspring” to Eve who would crush sin and Satan forever (Genesis 3:15). This, of course, is Jesus! To be reconciled to God, we must trust in His saving provision: Christ and His atoning work on the cross.
Praise God that He is a reconciling, restoring, and redeeming God. Our sin is great, but God’s love for us in Christ is infinitely greater.
In fact, you might even say it’s unbreakable.
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