It seems to have become a Saturday night tradition in the Reagan household to eat pizza and watch a movie. We like, on occasion, to watch a good spy thriller and the last two Saturday evenings we watched the first two movies in the Jason Bourne series. This isn't really a review, by the way, and I'm not even going to recommend that you watch the movies. The movies were very dark, missing almost completely any portrayal of human goodness. (The second movie was even darker than the first.) What is prompting me to write this morning is that the ending scenes of the second movie highlight something about which I simply have to talk.
If you think you want to watch these movies, then stop reading and go watch them before finishing this post. I will ruin it for you with what I have to say.
The story centers around a man who is rescued, in the beginning scenes, by the crew of a fishing boat in the Mediterranean off the coast of France. He has two bullet holes in his back and no memory of who he is. In the course of the story he learns that his name is Jason Bourne and that he is part of an elite and super-secret CIA task force/project that turned him (and a number of other agents) into super-assassins.
The second movie begins with Jason still struggling to find his memories. Then Marie, his girlfriend, is killed by an assassin who is trying to kill Jason. Fast-forwarding through the story, Jason finally remembers his first mission where he killed a man and his wife making it appear as though she murdered her husband and then suicided. Their little girl was thus left an orphan.
The elephant in the room during Jason's journey to recover his memories and his past is the question: What kind of man is/was Jason Bourne? I included that past tense "was" because, as portrayed in the movies, the Jason Bourne who lost his memory isn't a hard-hearted, sociopathic killer anymore. Marie taught him how to love and care and her loss taught him how to grieve. Two scenes in the movie highlight these changes in his personality. When he has his gun pointed at the man who shot Marie (as he sits disabled in a wrecked car), instead of shooting him, he turns and walks away. Scene two is when he finally confronts the man who orchestrated the whole thing and, again, walks away. Jason Bourne doesn't want to be the man he was/is.
Now to my point. The Jason Bourne story is a parable. Jason Bourne is a sinful man seeking redemption. This is highlighted when, nearly at the end of the movie, Jason seeks out the daughter of the couple he murdered at the beginning of his assassin's career. Sitting in her Moscow apartment he tells her that what she has always believed – that her mother murdered her father – is a lie and he was the murderer. Saying, "I'm sorry," he walks away. Marie taught Jason Bourne to love and grieve and now he is seeking redemption. Jason Bourne has come to hate what he is and is looking for a way to be clean. His soul has been covered with filthy engine grease and he has no way to clean it off. Jason Bourne is a picture of mankind, covered with the filth of sin with no way to cleanse his soul.
There are more movies in this series and undoubtedly they will depict Jason Bourne trying to "be good", stop killing and "do the right thing." That's the only recourse secular stories have for their sinful characters to make up for their past wrongs. If Jason Bourne were a real person he would eventually fall into despair because no amount of good behavior can wipe out the death and destruction he worked in his past life.
However, if Jason Bourne were real then he would have a place to turn. Engine grease doesn't come off. It gets under your fingernails and blackens your skin. Clothing – well, once stained, always stained. There is no detergent or cleanser that really cleans it up. But for our souls there is a way to wash the stains of sin – the blood of Jesus. If Jason Bourne were real he could turn to Jesus and find redemption. His soul could be washed clean. That's why I say that Jason Bourne is a parable. He's a parable of humanity, dirty with the filth of sin yet able to find redemption in a Christ who sacrificed Himself.
White as Snow
A Christian worship Chorus
White as snow, white as snow, though my sins be as scarlet,
Lord I know, Lord I know, that I'm clean and forgiven.
Through the power of Your blood, through the wonder of Your love,
Through faith in You I know that I can be
White as snow.