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Theme: Affliction, Redemption

Comparison:  Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan are the three movies that share the theme of redemption.  Below is a comparison of these movies:

All three movies are stories of redemption.
All portray an evil enemy (Nazi's in Schindler's List) who has taken over a territory, captured, and enslaved the people (Jews).
All show the enemy as having a mighty fortress where they are firmly entrenched (Auschwitz, the labor camp).
Redemption of the enslaved is plotted.
There is a list that emerges of those to be redeemed.
Two work together to accomplish this redemption.  The older, wiser one makes the call (Itzhak Stern).  The younger one goes in to accomplish it. (Osker Schindler).
There is a sacrificial price to be paid (Schindler's money).
At the end, the generational fruit of the redeemed is shown (Schindler's Jews).

Interesting Note:
In comparing these three movies, it is interesting to note that the number of the redeemed decreases from 1100 to 44 to 1.  At the same time, the picture of "hell" increases dramatically.  Schindler's List is hard to watch.  Amistad is perhaps a little more brutal.  Neither, however, compare to the carnage of Saving Private Ryan.

Comparison with the Gospel:
The gospel is a story of redemption.  The enemy, Satan, came to earth, captured and enslaved mankind (Genesis 3), and built a mighty fortress.  The Bible describes him as the prince of the world (John 14:30) and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). 

The triune God has plotted redemption.  The names of those to be redeemed have been inscribed in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).  The "elder" (Father) makes the call; the "younger" (Son) goes in to accomplish it.  The price of redemption is the life of the Son (II Corinthians 5:21).  The fruit of the redemption is the children of God indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-16).



The movie begins with candles being lit for the Sabbath.  The candles die down and are extinguished.  At this point, the movie shifts from color to black and white.  The candles symbolize the light of the world going out.  Beauty is gone; the world is covered in darkness.  It is a world without God, a world of death.  At the end of the movie, candles are once again lit for the Sabbath celebration.  Light and life emerge from the darkness (John 1:1-4).


The movie begins with names being spoken and typed.  These are people who have identities.  One theme of the film is the evil dehumanization of human beings.  The Nazi commander in Auschwitz tells Schindler, "You shouldn't get stuck on names."  God, on the other hand, is intimately acquainted with His children; He calls them by name (Isaiah 43:1-4).


Throughout the movie two distinct lists are contrasted. One list leads to death (non-essential worker's list, train list, Auschwitz list), with the other list leading to life (Schindler's list).  Itzhak Stern says of this list, "The list is absolute good.  The list is life.  All around its margins lies the gulf."  (Revelation 21:27)

Oskar Schindler:   

The transformation of Oskar Schindler from        

The beginning of the movie . . . to          . . . the end of the movie
Business owner who profits from war Business owner who causes own failure
Out to make money Spends all his money
Adulterer Returns to wife
Uses people - Nazis & Jews Sacrifices to save people
Well dressed Prison garb
Likes fine things Asks, "Why did I keep this?"
Laughing, celebrating, entertaining Broken, weeping, grieved
Alone Surrounded by those who love him

His Christ likeness

Dressed all in white he "waters" the trains at great risk. (John 7:37-39)
He kisses the little girls at the party and ends up arrested for it. (Matthews 18:5-6)
He goes into Auschwitz for the women and children and brings them out; not one is lost. (Ephesians 4:8-9; Luke 4:18; John 10:27-30)
He saves a remnant of Jews and is their shepherd. (John 10:14-16; Romans 11)
His factory is the sheepfold.  All these that pass through the door are saved. (John 10:7-9)
He stands next to his grave with the cross in the foreground. (John 11:25-26).

 Scriptures:  Romans 9-11, Gospel of John

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