Summary: Sermon related to Les Miserables. Originally written to relate to musical being presented at our high school, it uses clips from the 1998 movie. Content would be applicable to the 2012 movie

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Les Miz is remarkable story of people living in misery of sin: personal, social, government

Finale: “They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord.”

How will that happen? Revolution? Love? Grace and redemption

This is what Jesus said he was about:

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,

Prisoner’s name is Jean Valjean: stealing loaf of bread, but hardened by prison

Finally released—but still imprisoned by his sinful human nature and evil in society

Desperate, he comes to door of church—kind bishop treats him as Jesus would

Valjean resists and betrays kind man’s grace—

until priest does something unthinkable (remind you of Jesus?)


Revelation 5:9-10 You (the Lamb) are worthy…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Valjean understands that he has received more than “Get out of jail free card”

So many people want God’s grace to stop at forgiveness, easing guilt, avoiding punishment

They want free pass…to keep on living like they did before

But what kind of grace would that be? Don’t we want grace that makes us truly good?

1 Corinthians 15:10 by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

Valjean has tasted goodness of God’s grace…penetrating to depths of his being…

He’s not sure about it—but he can’t let it go: What does it mean to belong to God?


Romans 6:11 count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Valjean’s life is transformed—transformed by Jesus

Honestly, it’s not spelled out how it happens—yet as story unfolds, it’s like this:

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Christ takes over and lives in Valjean

Valjean changes his name…takes over factory near bankruptcy and changes culture…

becomes mayor of town…provides for man disabled by accident…

rescues woman on edge of prostitution, brings her to hospital, adopts her orphan daughter

Lives life full of grace…so much so, that as I watched movie…

“That’s what Jesus would do!...if factory owner, mayor, lover of betrayed and dying woman”

(Steve said t-shirt, [WWJD?] “What would Valjean do?”)

Are we so like Jesus that people say, “What would _______________ do?”

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me

As we reflect on story, we can’t help but ask: Could that really happen?

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