Summary: using the movie braveheart to explain Christmas


Perhaps quite a few here in our audience today have seen the movie, Braveheart. It’s the story of William Wallace. He may be one of the greatest heroes of Scotland. I have to confess that I didn’t know who he was until I saw the movie. You will in a few moments see a clip from the movie.

Just a bit of background for those who not seen the movie… I found out that William Wallace was really a committed Christian. According to Steve Farrar, “The movie touched on his faith but diluted his Christianity by inserting immorality that historically has no basis.” Farrar asserts that Wallace was a man who has a deep faith. It was well known that wherever he went he would have a man named John Blair following him around. For you see, John Blair is the personal chaplain, the spiritual adviser of Wallace. Blair was the man who was credited with writing down the original story of William Wallace.

The story revolves around the time when the king of Scotland died without an heir, a successor, to the throne. Sensing an opportunity the king of England, Edward the Longshanks, stepped in the turmoil of that time and claimed Scotland for England. This was his tactic – he would buy off the Scottish nobles, all the big shots, the people who owned land, and gave them more land and titles to get them on side with him.

William Wallace did not like that at all, he wanted Scotland to be free. He was tired of the English raping and pillaging the Scots. Apparently, the English even killed his wife. So he rallied the common men of Scotland to fight against the well-trained and well-armed armies of England. You see, Wallace had a brave heart.

Wallace too was offered land and titles but he couldn’t be bought off like the nobles. He had integrity. There is a higher goal – it was freedom for all the people of Scotland.


Similarly, this is the story of God, the story of Christmas… Come with me to story of Christmas… Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT)

6Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.

Jesus whose very nature is God, did not use His title, rights, His nobility, nor all the power of heaven that is at his beck and call. According to Luke 4 Satan offered to buy Him off as well. He offered the world, all the land and titles, when Jesus was tempted as a human being…

Luke 4:5-6 record for us…

5Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6The Devil told him, "I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them--because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me."

But Jesus though feeling weak, after having gone without food for forty days, could not be bought. Instead he chose to come alongside the poor, the victimized, the sinner and became a braveheart. He humbled himself came as a slave, to show that God is not against humankind but plans to team up with them, to rise against the tyrants of darkness, the domains of what Tolkien would call “Mordor” and “Sauron”, our sin-filled imperfect world and take away the barrier between a sinful people and a holy God by offering Himself as the ransom for the sins of the world.

Just as William Wallace wanted freedom for all the people of Scotland, Jesus, our Savior Jesus Christ, wanted freedom for all the people of the world. For our God hears the cries of those who are imprisoned, tortured and suffering. He is so moved with love and compassion. He came and died for us. The darkness, the choices humankind has made to make life work apart from God, could not keep Him away. And so with the coming of the Christ-child in Christmas, a braveheart is born and His name is Jesus.

As He grew up, He rallied a group of men He called Apostles and turned the world upside down. The world has never recovered from that, as we, today, can see with our own eyes, lives are still being changed, by the braveheart of God. For this is Jesus’ mission, this is His heart; this is the story of why we have Christmas…

21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

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