One of the biggest movies of modern times, "Rocky" starring Sylvester Stallone, almost never got made. Stallone was struggling to find work as a screenwriter. He saw a fight against Ali and little-known Church Wepner. Wepner went 15 rounds, and it gave Stallone an idea. Three days later, "Rocky" was written. He got a few producers interested, but when they heard Stallone wanted to act, they turned it down. Eventually a producer took him on. The film became a hit in 1976 grossing $225 million dollars.
Rocky Balboa is a debt collector on the streets of Philadelphia for a shady loan shark. In his spare time, he's a boxer, but not a good one; he has great heart but no style. Out of the blue he gets a chance to fight Apollo Creed, the world champion, after Creed chooses him out of a boxing registry when his contender backs out through injury. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this southpaw journeyman who has never boxed out of club level.
On the night of the big fight, Rocky puts Apollo down in the first round. Apollo fights on with a greater respect, and Rocky takes blow after blow. He goes the whole 15 rounds battered but determined to go the distance. Rocky proves that he is no bum. Though he loses the fight in a split decision, no one leaves without respect for Rocky.
When we think about Jesus death on the cross, it's very much in the mold of Rocky Balboa: looking like the underdog, weak and powerless, Jesus takes all the punishment humanity can throw at him (his beatings). The Romans - The Jews - He's physically beaten and nailed to a cross mocked and humiliated. Jesus faced the most brutal death and in the midst of it all he cries, "Father forgive them!"
Upon that Cross, God is saying, "I'll take the worst you've got. I will experience being God-forsaken for all that you humans have done. I will take the rap. I will absorb the blows, 'My God My God why have you forsaken me.' I will finish this once and for all and I will remain standing: 'It is finished.' I will heal my relationship with you, I will be your Saviour!
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