Daily Word of Grace # 17 (April 8, 2020)
The classic 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and is based of course on Harper Lee’s moving 1960 novel of the same name, recounts the struggle for justice in the midst of a small southern town steeped in prejudice. In his Oscar winning performance Gregory Peck portrays Atticus Finch, a compassionate and savvy lawyer, as well as a widower and single father of Scout and Jem, who has the impossible task of defending a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Near the end of the film Mayella’s father, Bob Ewell, confronts Atticus, and as Jem looks on from inside the family car, Bob spits in Atticus’ face. Atticus steps closer to Bob, who braces for retaliation. But instead of retaliating, Atticus, without saying a word, pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes off his face. Then he gets into his car and drives off with Jem, as Bob Ewell continues to glare at him. On Good Friday Jesus, who in the same way Atticus was Tom Robinson’s advocate is your advocate (Romans 8:34), was also spit on in his face (Matthew 27:30). And yet, also like Atticus, without a word Jesus refused to retaliate, although he was unable to wipe that spit from his sacred face. And on the cross Jesus died for all of us—the Atticus Finches and Tom Robinson’s and Scout’s and Jem’s and Mayella Ewell’s and yes, the Bob Ewell’s too—and the Risen Jesus remains your Advocate.
Love and Prayers,