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.

Use the audio player at the top of this article to listen to the podcast, or use the links below for other convenient ways to hear FCC.

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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 way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys, it’s been good to have you cover a couple of Marvel films as we head into the autumn. Avengers: Age of Ultron happens to be the only movie I’ve seen in theater this year, and like many other people, I found it to be not as amazing as the first Avengers film. My expectations were tempered, since I was blown away by the first Avengers movie and felt it was unrealistic to think it would happen again. I plan to re-watch it soon, but this is a good reminder for me to have healthy expectations about all things, not just entertainment. I find that my enjoyment of something is very closely related to my expectations going in. When those expectations are greatly exceeded, I love it! When they are not met, I get disappointed. Therefore, I try to have realistic expectations so as to not get down on something and I attempt to stay positive.

    John 16:33(NKJV) states “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

    We can experience trouble, but still have peace in Christ. We should expect trouble and not be surprised by it, and also not conclude that it is a result of God not caring about us. If I practice realistic expectations when it comes to movies, I can help prepare myself to be realistic and have healthy expectations about life in general. If I succeed in doing so, I can save myself from getting mad at God or having bitterness about my circumstances. I hope that makes sense, love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

  • Supercurl

    Hey guys, I’m a little late to chiming in, mostly because I’m still catching up from my summer semester of classes. Like Patron Saint Philip, I’m really enjoying hearing about the recent spate of Marvel films. When I first went to see this movie, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away, but rather, a classic case of sophomore slump. What happened instead was that I wound up liking it even more than the original, if that was possible, for some of the very reasons you mention (back in 2011, I saw the first Avengers movie 7 or 8 times in theaters, and I only wish I could’ve seen this one as many times).

    One comment, when you were discussing the origins of the phrase “Middle Earth” and “Midgard”, you wondered about the origins of “Asgard”, the home of the gods. You’re familiar that the “-gard” suffix means world or dwelling; while Tolkien doesn’t use “As-” outright, his good friend C. S. Lewis does, in naming his very own Christ figure, Aslan. If that doesn’t clue you in, “As-” means God or gods in the Norse legends that Loki, Thor, and their fellows hail from. Hope this help!

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