AGE OF ULTRON: Grace and Redemption | FCC 75

Grace and redemption are just two of the Christian themes we’ve found in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we discuss these themes and how you can use this film to talk about Jesus with your friends.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:06:30 Avengers: Age of Ultron Discussion 
  • 01:20:15 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:30:00 – Upcoming

Redemption and the Scarlet Witch

Wanda and Pietro Maximoff have had rough life. Orphaned as children and subjected to Hydra’s testing with Loki’s scepter, these two have gone from homeless nobodies to two very powerful individuals. Pietro has superspeed, which has earned him the moniker Quicksilver. Wanda’s power, though, is labelled as “micro-cellular manipulation,” which allows her to manipulate not only physical objects but also peoples’ brain waves and neural activity. This ability has earner her the nickname the Scarlet Witch.

At first, the Maximoff twins are only on Ultron’s side because he is against the Avengers. The twins require vengeance on Tony Stark for his father’s missile destroying their lives, and Ultron has guaranteed that such an opportunity will come if they stick with him. But once it becomes apparent that Ultron has bigger plans, the Maximoffs leave him to his own devices…his whole squadron full of them.

The twins then find themselves on the train into which Captain America and Ultron have landed. Ultron, needing a quick escape, derails the train and sends it hurdling through the urban streets. The mission for the moment then becomes to save as many civilian lives as possible, and the Captain quickly delegates the twins to affect that mission. This opens up the idea to the twins that the Avengers aren’t all that bad.

This image from AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON shows Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and the Scarlet Witch.

Later on, Ultron has lifted the city of Sokovia, and Pietro and Wanda have to decide what they are going to do. The decision proves to be too much for Wanda, so she hides away in an already collapsed building. Thankfully, Hawkeye is able to speak words of encouragement to her, and those words are so stirring that she exits that building as an Avenger, ready to celebrate that redemption by taking Ultron down.

This is what it looks like when we as Christians have been redeemed with Christ so much so that it’s like we’ve put on a new set of clothes. To illustrate with another parable, once we’ve united ourselves with Christ, we’ve put on the clothes of the marriage banquet, and we are then ready to celebrate and live our lives from that moment on the way Christ wants us to do so.

Grace and the Vision

Ultron has a case against humanity: that it is no longer worthy to inhabit the earth on which it lives. He believes that, in order for the planet to survive, the humans will have to be extinguished. And because the Avengers are the best of the human race, Ultron has turned his cross hairs to them first.

The Vision, however, sees things a little differently. Yes, he may agree with Ultron to some extent; we only know this because the Scarlet Witch, when she looked into the Vision mind, saw the same annihilation of the planet that she saw when she looked into Ultron’s mind. And yes, he may even agree that humans are not only odd but doomed because of our transgressions against ourselves, each other, and the planet.

But the Vision is on the side of life. Instead of letting the humans be punished for their sins, he withholds his own acting out of that judgment and lets them live. And instead of allowing Ultron to be the sole judge, the sole jury, and the sole executioner, he resolves to stop Ultron from killing off the humans.

This image from AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON show Paul Bettany as the Vision.

There almost could not be a clearer picture of grace in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Where the humans of earth rightfully deserve the punishment and extinction that Ultron is giving out, the Vision has intervened with long-suffering grace and has ultimately given them back their lives.

So it is with God, the Satan, and us as Christians. The Satan has a strong case against us, and God does not disagree that we deserve death as our punishment. But Christ Himself – as the vision (ahem) of grace – has intervened on our behalf. Bear in mind that this isn’t because of anything good that we’ve done, but only because God loves us and will be gracious toward us like He does.

Key Texts

Galatians 3:27 NLT

And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

Ephesians 2:4-5 AMP

But God, being so very rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, even when we were spiritually dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us spiritually alive together with Christ (for by His grace—His undeserved favor and mercy—you have been saved from God’s judgment).

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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