Movie Clip Discussions

Deep Impact

Dynamic Image

(Paramount Pictures, 1998)

Main Point: Self sacrifice is obviously difficult, but it is one of the primary ways we show the world that we are Christ followers.

The Movie Clip: Fish’s Plan

In the movie, Deep Impact, a comet is headed for earth and unless it can be destroyed before colliding with it, only those allowed into shelters will survive.

Introducing the Clip:
The clip we are going to watch is from the movie Deep Impact. The plot of this movie is basically a comet that is headed for earth needs to be destroyed, so they send a space shuttle called The Messiah to intercept and destroy it. The Messiah space shuttle crew sent to destroy the comet speeding toward earth realizes that they aren't going to make it back. They all get one last chance to say goodbye to their loved ones by video communications. (FYI: One of the astronauts briefly uses h-ll in a statement, indicated below if you want to mute that line.)

Let’s take a look.

Scene Script:

Start DVD at Scene 23.

    Capt. ‘Fish’ Tanner: Could I bother everyone for a minute? Now, let’s take a look at the big one. Now, the outglassing has created a vent a half a mile wide and at least two miles deep. Comet gets closer to the sun, sun melts ice, ice turns to steam, we get a big hole, OK? So, how many nukes we have left in the back?

    Col. Tulchinsky: Four.

    Capt. ‘Fish’ Tanner: If we can get the remaining bombs in that vent, there shouldn’t be anything left of that comet bigger than a suitcase. Now, we can’t do anything about the little one, but…you know, it just might give them a chance. (Pause) Now, without the arming codes, we’re gonna have to wait to set the bomb timers until we get closer to earth to raise Houston.

    Col. Tulchinsky: We may not have enough life support left to get back into the cargo bay for the nukes, much less work down on the comet.

    Mark Simon: And we sure as h—ll don’t have enough propellant left in the Messiah to maneuver with. How are we supposed to get back off the surface once we’ve gotten down there?

    Dr. Monash: We don’t. (We see each one’s reaction to this.)

    Andrea 'Andy' Baker: Hey, look at the bright side. We’ll all have high schools named after us.

STOP after the scene changes.

Transitional Statement:
This scene is a great illustration of one of the biggest tests anyone could face, which is a life or death scenario where you have the opportunity to give your life for a greater cause.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s go around the circle and share a time you can remember when either you made a sacrifice for someone, or someone made a sacrifice for you?
  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How did it make you feel?
  3. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How would you have reacted if you were a part of the crew of The Messiah?
  4. ASK A FEW: Do you think you’ll ever face a situation where you might need to sacrifice your life for someone? Why or why not?
  5. ASK A FEW: Why do you think the crew was able to have such a good attitude about the nature of their demise? (they knew it was for a greater cause, etc.)
  6. ASK A FEW: Why do many people struggle with being sacrificial? (we are all by nature selfish, we usually don’t sacrifice if we don’t get anything in return)
  7. Read the following passage:

      Philippians 2:3-4
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

  8. ASK A FEW: What does it mean to do things out of ‘selfish ambition’ and ‘vain conceit’?
  9. ASK A FEW: What’s wrong with looking out for ourselves?
  10. ASK A FEW: What does it mean to consider others ‘better’ than ourselves?
  11. ASK A FEW: How did the crew of The Messiah show that they understood this life principle?
  12. ASK A FEW: How would applying this principle to your life require sacrifice?
  13. ASK AFEW: What could give us the motivation to live a sacrificial life?
  14. Read the following passage:

      Philippians 2:5-11
      You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

      Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

      Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

      When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

      Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What do you see in this passage that would motivate us to be sacrificial? (He sacrificed the use of His power, took human form, died a criminal’s death)
  16. ASK A FEW: What are the parallels between the sacrifice in the movie and Jesus Christ?
  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How can knowing and remembering what Christ did for us help us consider others more important than ourselves?
  18. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How would sacrificially considering others more important than ourselves open a door to share Jesus Christ with others?

Wrap Up:
Most of us, if not all, will probably not face a situation where we have to give up our lives to save someone, but we are given the opportunity every day to sacrifice by considering others more important than ourselves. When we live out the truth of Philippians 2 in tangible and visible ways, we create great opportunities to share the motivation behind our attitude, which the model Jesus gave us by coming to earth and dying on the Cross. When you think about it, when we sacrifice, we open the door to share the message about the real Messiah! This week, think about some ways you could consider others more important than yourselves. It could be simple things like doing some free yard work, washing someone’s car, preparing a meal, or giving up some Facebook/MySpace time to listen to a friend who you know is struggling with someone.

Close in Prayer – (give invitation to trust Christ)

Jesus, thank you for being the ultimate sacrifice and showing us the attitude that we should have towards others. Help us to be like you, so the world can see you working through us and then desire to know you.

Written by Lane Palmer


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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