“If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me (John 5:46).”
There’s nothing like writing a perfect movie line. “ET phone home.” “Shaken, not stirred.” “Adrian!” “I’ll be back.” “Feel lucky, punk?” “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” “I’m your huckleberry.” For a writer, that’s the cherry on top of a good script, especially if it’s the very last line, like in Some Like It Hot: “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
I try to come up with one when I’m writing all the time – a great line that will live forever in Hollywood, and the shorter, the better. Here’s a few favorites, in three words or less:
The Blind Side: A very wealthy Sandra Bullock shows their adopted son from the street his new bedroom. He’s stunned, says he never had one before, so she asks, “What? A room to yourself?” Looking down at it, with pitiful puppy eyes, Michael says, “A bed.”
Hoosiers: Basketball coach Gene Hackman tells Buddy to play good defense in the game, and stick with their best player like chewing gum. When Buddy comes back to the bench after a successful stint, he says to Hackman with a straight face, “It was Dentyne.”
Casablanca: A mysterious Rick answers Louis as to why he’s in Casablanca, but Rick doesn’t want to reveal his past, so he says he came for the waters. Louis corrects him with, “We’re in the desert.” Without missing a beat, Bogie says, “I was misinformed.”
The Undefeated: John Wayne exposes two shady Federal horse agents as thieves, and when the big one goes for his gun, Wayne slugs him. The smaller crook pleads, “I didn’t do anything.” The Duke says, “You should have.” Then punches him in the face.
Jesus has a memorable line too. Well, He had a lot of them, since He wrote the Bible, but there’s one three-word line in the 31,102 verses in the Bible that really nails His life’s mission. Any guesses what it is? There’s a hint in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 10.
Israel tried to keep the Law of Moses, to be made right with God, to deal with their sin by blood (Leviticus 17:11), but it was never intended as a permanent solution (that’s why they did it every year). The Temple, the sacrifices, and their Feasts were reminders that they needed forgiveness, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” all symbols pointing to the Messiah.
These temporary sacrifices were finished, “once for all time,” when the Passover Lamb was not an animal, but a perfect God-man. As John the Baptizer said when he saw Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World.” That’s His mission.
All Jewish blood sacrifices for sin ended when Rome destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D. According to the Law of Moses without shedding blood all sin remains, but the good news is that it’s not needed if you take Jesus’ sacrifice as your own. Now, can you guess His famous three-word line? Just give up and it’ll all make perfect sense (John 19:30).
One of my articles on the IMOT site (above) and Hebrews explained (below)