52 Red Queens and I Say, “You’re Free!”
I love watching classic, older movies.
There’s just something about the storytelling and the dialogue that I just really enjoy. Hands down, my favorite movie that I’ve watched recently is 12 Angry Men (Expect a blog on that at some point). I’ve also seen some other terrific movies: Casablanca, North by Northwest, Singin’ in the Rain, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the most recent edition to this list, The Manchurian Candidate (not the remake with Denzel Washington).
The original 1962 Manchurian Candidate stars good Ol’ Blue Eyes, aka Frank Sinatra, and is a much better movie than the remake (in my opinion). While I was watching it, I had an unexpected moment with the Lord.
(Unavoidable spoilers ahead, but if you’ve already seen the remake, there should be no real surprises for you. Anyone else who hasn’t seen either movie, sorry.)
Bennett Marco (played by Sinatra) plays a Korean War veteran who realizes that he, as well as the rest of his squad, were kidnapped and brainwashed during the war. One of his soldiers, Raymond Shaw, has been particularly manipulated into being a mindless killer. Marco has found out that Shaw has been forced to obey whatever command is given after seeing the queen of diamonds.
Marco decides to change the odds by bringing a stacked deck filled with queens of diamonds.
You can watch the scene that struck me here.
(Or if you want, you can read the transcript of the scene below.)
Raymond Shaw: They can make me do anything, Ben, can’t they? Anything.
Bennett Marco: We’ll see, kid. We’ll see what they can do and we’ll see what we can do. So the red queen is our baby. Well, take a look at this, kid…
[fans deck and keeps holding up the cards]
Bennett Marco: 52 of them! Take a good look at ’em, Raymond, look at ’em, and while you’re looking, listen. This is me, Marco, talking. 52 red queens and me are telling you… you know what we’re telling you? It’s over! The links, the beautifully conditioned links are smashed. They’re smashed as of now because we say so, because we say they are to be smashed. We’re busting up the joint, we’re tearing out all the wires. We’re busting it up so good all the queen’s horses and all the queen’s men will never put old Raymond back together again. You don’t work any more! That’s an order. Anybody invites you to a game of solitaire, you tell ’em sorry, buster, the ball game is over.
The fact of the matter is, we have all been conditioned like Raymond Shaw.
When we are born, we are conditioned to serve ourselves and live under the power of sin and death.
We are conditioned to live by the knowledge of good and evil.
The law, which was good, but was twisted by sin, conditioned us to live by, “You must do this” and “Don’t do this” to be saved.
When we inevitably fail to fulfill the law, we are conditioned to live under condemnation, fear, and guilt.
It is impossible, under our own strength, to break what we have been conditioned to do.
But Jesus Christ has broken into the world, and though his life and death said, “It’s over! You’re free! All that once controlled you I have been dealt with! I have defeated sin and death and completely fulfilled the Law in y’all!”
The wires have been pulled out.
The “beautiful” links that were made have been smashed, because Jesus Christ has said so.
He has busted up everything so well that the old you can never be put back together again! You don’t work anymore!
You have been crucified with Christ and you no longer live but Christ lives in you!
You now live in, by, and through the life of Jesus Christ in you. You are no longer conditioned to live under the power of sin and death. You do not have to strive to live according to the Law. Those conditioned links and wires were utterly and completely destroyed when your old man/woman was crucified with Christ. You have been brought into the freedom of new life in Christ Jesus!
If ever you are tempted to sin or to fall back into fulfilling the law, from Ol’ Blue Eyes himself (and in Jesus Christ), you can confidently say, “Sorry, buster, the ball game is over.” Everything that controlled you before cannot touch you because of the complete and total victory of Jesus Christ!
Live and walk in the freedom found in the life of Jesus Christ dwelling inside you (and your brothers and sisters)! Pursue Jesus Christ and find your new life in Him!