Ice Age 4 – A Father’s Relentless Pursuit

Posted: July 13, 2012 by Josh Kwasny in Animation, Comedy, Family
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, we considered a couple themes that have been prominent throughout the Ice Age film series.  You can see that post here. The trailers for this fourth installment seem to indicate that much of what we love from the first films will continue in this chapter.  Looks like Ice Age 4 will be a great summer flick!

The storyline for Ice Age 4 places Manny, Diego, and Sid adrift on an iceberg due to a sudden catastrophic event.  The continental drift is caused by Scrat’s insistent desire to capture the elusive acorn.  As the continents form all over the earth, an iceberg carries Manny away from his wife and daughter.  While Manny and his friends float away, he vows, “No matter how long it takes….I will find you.”

Manny’s resolve to return to his family is sure to provide some dramatic tension while tugging at our heart strings.  Why does this kind of reunion story stir us?  What is it about the dedication of a father to return to his family that moves our hearts?

I think that the reason this is such a powerful plot line is that it is one of the main plot lines of the cosmic story.  In the Bible, we read that God the Father creates and calls humanity to be his children.  Made in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), human beings are united to their Heavenly Father.  The book of Genesis also records the greatest catastrophic event in human history – The Fall of mankind into sin.  Adam and Eve’s sin separated them from their Father – consigning them to death and eternal relational separation from their Creator.

The good news is that God the Father makes a promise – an incredible vow.  Like Manny, God promises, “No one is gonna stop me from getting back to my family!”  The world, our flesh, and even Satan cannot keep him away from us.  In Genesis 3:15, God declares his plan to be reunited with his children – by sending a savior, Jesus Christ his Son.  The rest of the Bible tells the story of God’s relentless pursuit of his children.  The Old Testament lays the groundwork – preparing for the arrival of this great reconciler.  In the Gospels we read of this God-man, Jesus Christ.  His perfect life, painful death, and powerful resurrection accomplished God’s plan to bring his children back.  Although we still struggle to live in the reality of this renewed relationship, we press on – looking forward to the ultimate once-and-for-all reunion with our loving Father.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:29-39 ESV)

You see, we love stories like Ice Age because at their core they point us to the true story of God.  The dramatic tension that we feel when Manny is separated from his family is present in chapter 3 of Genesis.  But, unlike the film, we do not have to wait and see if Manny will succeed.  God’s promise to bring us back to himself has been accomplished in Christ!  As you watch Ice Age 4 this weekend, remember the big story of God.  God the Father is relentless in his pursuit of us!


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