For years, I have watched numerous movies and read books on military stories which are based on the actual true event, I am always familiar with the storyline was played until I saw Unbroken, which was directed by well known actress, Angelina Jolie. This film brought me more tears than any films I have seen in the past. It is something differs from any true military stories because it’s a personal journey story where it gives us hope when dealing in period of living in darkness.
It was all about Louis “Louie” Zamperini, he used to be a rebellious boy before he became a big time runner for his local high school & University of Southern California and also he competed in 1936 U.S. Olympics in Berlin, Germany during the Third Reich, which was called Nazi Germany under the power of Adolf Hitler. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in September 1941, which was the beginning of his true-life journey into being an unbroken man. He was badly tormented during being prisoner of the war (POW) by Imperial Japan Army during World War II especially under Mutsuhiro “Bird” Watanabe, an Imperial Japan Army sergeant who served at POW camps in Omori, Naoetsu. He became a strong man after being frequently tormented at POW camps. The story of Louis Zamperini is wholly based on three major points: forgiven, strength, and victory in the presence of God.
This film has great metaphor based on our spiritual life journey in the presence of God. God used this film to teach me something, which increase my understanding about how Jesus Christ took my ugly life on the cross in order to give me new life. Let me share the verse, which was told by prophet Isaiah which was already fulfilled through Jesus Christ:
“… He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)
Jesus was the perfectly unbroken man, even he was badly tormented and being whipped, but it did not stop him from giving in. He continued being unbroken for us, so he can give us another chance for new life in the presence of God. Jesus was denied by his close friend, Peter and been betrayed by Judas in exchange for money by snobbish religious leaders. He was badly mocked & insult in the presence of the council of religious leaders. So therefore none of them broken him into piece because he stood up and took the whole of our withered souls with him; it is because of His Father’s amazing everlasting love for his people. It is because God has great passion is having personal intimacy relationship with EACH of his beloved child through Jesus.
The death and resurrection of Jesus, which truly completes the true unbroken journey. So therefore it brought the major final victory over the evil one, Satan. Jesus’ resurrection gave us another chance for new life according to Paul’s words as he addressed to the city of Corinth:
“… Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
I would like to provide with a bit of exegesis on 2 Corinthians 5:17: ‘A true Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated – we are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ according to Colossians 2:6-7 ~ “… Now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Not only are believers changed from within, but a whole new order of creative energy began with Christ. There is a new covenant, a new perspective, a new body, and a new church.’
New creation in Christ will bring us into new dimensions in new understanding about living for God, even it takes us into the darkness where we will be truly unbroken for God. It is because we become the light in the darkness. Jesus is the true light as John said in 1:5 (NLT):
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
During one scene in this film, Unbroken where Louis Zamperini struggled and fought for his life as he tried to keep up in holding the large piece of tree trunk because he was told if he drop then he will be shot to death. It is because the Imperial Japan Army sergeant, Mutsuhiro “Bird” Watanabe decided to do something very unthinkable in challenging Louis to see how far he are capable of holding a large piece of tree trunk it is because he was truly angered at Louis because he remain firm despite being beaten many times and was hoping Louis will be broken. When Louis succeeds in holding the large piece of tree trunk to the high. The sergeant Watanabe shouted at Louis, “do not look at me!” It is because his mission in getting Louis being broken was uttered in failure.
This scene was great example when we are being uttered in darkness as no matter how it gets deeper, there will be certain people in the darkness will find a way to destroy our character based on jealousy, obsession about our flaws in our past life, and bitterness.
It is no wonder Louis Zamperini made stunning quotes as he said:
“A minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”
“You can’t let anything get you down.”
“Never give up. No matter what.”
“Where there’s still life, there’s still hope.”
“A minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”
On November 29, 2012 is the day that changed my life forever when I opened the door of darkness where it took me I thought I will never go there. During two years of living in darkness, I had to deal with many insults and false accusations as for all of those are in an attempt to break down my new character and identity in Christ was being built.
I does recalled one of those members of the Deaf Community of Massachusetts told one specific Deaf group (I cannot give details because I am protecting this information out of respect and everything was in God’s hands), “Mark my word, Michael will relapse into alcoholism and nothing good will come out of him.” This person said in late Summer of 2013. When I found out, it broke my heart, but it does not stop me from going further in becoming a brand new man for God. God is very good to me and continue to provide me with amazing strength to maintain my sobriety since I first became sober on 12/3/12.
I got to admit I has experienced of being tormented by someone similar how the Imperial Japan Army sergeant, Mutsuhiro “Bird” Watanabe did to Louis Zamperini in an attempt to get me down. I got numerous of very cruel messages via texting, email and even was slammed in my face in an attempt to destroy my beautiful new life in Christ by bringing up all old flaws in my old characters and calling me as worthless and useless man. All of those unkind words did break my heart, but it did not stop me, so I was determined at all cost to keep my faith in God, even I received numerous confirmation messages from God through those true friends who knew that God is working on transforming me into godly man which reflect the true Christlikeness love, grace, and compassion.
Are you willing to become unbroken for God? The true journey begins at the end of the comfort zone which will bring you into a new person in the eyes of God.