Argo – A (Best) Picture Of Grace

Did they deserve it?

As Argo walked away with the Best Picture trophy at this year’s Oscars, I kept asking myself the question, “Did they deserve it?”

Not the Best Picture award itself. I really enjoyed the movie, especially the nail-biting tension of the final twenty minutes (though I’m not sure if I’d have voted it Best Picture).

I’m talking about the “heroes” of the true story depicted in the movie – the six hostages rescued from Iran through an incredible mission disguised as a location scout for a fake movie.

Did they deserve it? Did they deserve to be rescued?

When angry Iranians fed up with U.S. politics stormed the country’s American embassy in 1979,  52 hostages were taken and held for 444 days. Argo tells the story of six Americans who sneak out of the embassy during the attack and make their way to the Canadian embassy, hide out and wait for the U.S. government to hatch a plan to bring them back home.

These six men and women are not necessarily good or bad people. We really don’t learn much about their personalities or backstories in the film. And they’re not really depicted as heroes in the movie aside from a few moments in the aforementioned final act.

Certainly, as human beings who committed no crime, they deserved to be rescued. But why them above everyone else? These 6 people were not any more special or deserving than anyone else to be rescued. They certainly didn’t help anyone else out of the hostage situation. It’s harsh to say, but from watching the movie I couldn’t help but think they only watched out for themselves and ended up getting rewarded for it.

Did they really deserve to be rescued?

One man thought they did.  CIA Agent Tony Mendes (played with a solemn confidence by Ben Affleck) went into the battlefield in Argo. He flew into Iran on his own. Though he had help back in the states, he was the only person in the movie brave enough to head into the warzone to rescue the 6 hostages. Only one man believed in the mission enough to risk his life for it.

What a perfect picture of grace this is. Six people who didn’t deserve to be rescued, who could not rescue themselves, saved by a man willing to risk his life for them.

Only Jesus is willing to risk the same kind of rescue for you. When you back yourself into a corner, and you don’t deserve to be rescued out of your despair, Jesus enters the battlefield to claim you out of captivity to sin.

Do you deserve it? No. None of us do. And that’s why Argo is a (best) picture of grace. Jesus never loves just to be loved in return, or because we deserve it. He rescued us while we were still sinners, and will continue to do so whenever we falter.

Don’t get caught up questioning whether you deserve God’s grace or not. For you were a hostage to sin now set free. Accept the gift you don’t deserve, and live transformed by it.

What did you think of Argo? What was your favorite movie from 2012? What’s the best picture of grace you’ve ever seen? Leave a comment and join the conversation:


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