Main Point: The result of our sin is that we are cast from the presence of our Heavenly Father.
The Movie Clip: You’re Unworthy
In 2011, Marvel launched the storyline of Thor, the God of Thunder from Asgard, who watches over and protects the Earth from unknown foes in the distant universe. This movie introduces the mighty character (played by Chris Hemsworth), and the personal struggles he undergoes as he makes his transition into that of King of Asgard.
Essentially, the movie revolves around the foolish mistake that Thor made in attacking the Frost Giants, and his banishment from Asgard by the hand of his father, Odin. Thor is sent to Earth to learn humility and leadership, but while there, he discovers that Earth is in just as much danger as his father’s realm.
The movie is rated PG-13.
Introducing the Clip:
The clip that I want to show you from Thor is that pivotal scene in which Thor and his fighting buddies are brought back to their home realm of Asgard by Thor’s father, Odin. Thor had gone to fight the Frost Giants – against his father’s orders – and would have been killed had not his father stepped in to rescue he and his compatriots. Upon their arrival back in Asgard, King Odin has some strong words – and actions – for Thor’s disobedience and arrogance. Take a look at Odin’s response to Thor’s rebellion and see if it reminds you of a similar story from the Bible.
BEGIN CLIP AT 0 HOURS 27 MINUTES AND 26 SECONDS (in Chapter 4)
Thor: Why did you bring us back?
Odin: Do you realize what you’ve done? What you’ve started?
Thor: I was protecting my home?
Odin: You cannot even protect your friends! How can you hope to protect a kingdom? Get him to the healing room! Now!
Thor: There won’t be a kingdom to protect if you’re afraid to act. The Jotuns must learn to fear me, just as they once feared you.
Odin: That’s pride and vanity talking, not leadership. You’ve forgotten everything I taught you about a warrior’s patience.
Thor: While you wait and be patient, the Nine Realms laugh at us. The old ways are done. You’d stand giving speeches while Asgard falls.
Odin: You are a vain, greedy, cruel boy!
Thor: And you are an old man and a fool!
Odin: yes. I was a fool…to think you were ready.
Odin: Aaauuuuugggghhhhh!!!!! Thor Odinson, you have betrayed the express command of your king. Through your arrogance and stupidity, you’ve opened these peaceful realms and innocent lives to the horror and desolation of war! You are unworthy of these realms! You’re unworthy of your title! You’re unworthy of the loved ones you have betrayed. I now take from you your power! In the name of my father, and his father before, I Odin Allfather, cast you out!
Odin: Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.
(Thor is swept into the bridge and banished to Earth. Darcy and Jane see Thor land on Earth just before they crash into him with the van. They run over him, almost killing him.)
END CLIP AT 0 HOURS 30 MINUTES AND 12 SECONDS
This clip was a really sad one, because in it, a king has to banish his son because of his rebellion against him, the kingdom, and others. Thor’s actions didn’t just land him in hot water; they also had a negative effect on others. When it was all said and done, Thor was cast from the presence of his father because of his rebellion. The same is true for you and me. The Bible teaches that whenever we rebel against God, whenever we sin, the result is that we are cast from the presence of our Heavenly Father. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about that reality, and read a story from the Bible that looks a lot like the story we just watched.
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.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and your favorite comic book hero.
- ASK A FEW: Odin said that Thor had “betrayed the express command of his king.” Was that an overstatement of Thor’s actions, or was it an accurate way of describing the problem? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Why was Thor’s father Odin so upset?
- ASK A FEW: What consequence did Odin say Thor’s rebellion would have on others? (Leaders – He said that Thor’s rebellion would cause others to lose their lives in the war that Thor started.)
- ASK A FEW: Why did Odin say that Thor was “unworthy” of his realm, title, and the loved ones he betrayed?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Thor deserved to be banished from Asgard? Did the punishment fit the crime, or was it too harsh?
Read the following passage:
Genesis 3:1-24 (NIV)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me– she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree.
I gotta be honest, we left both Thor’s story and Adam and Eve’s story in a pretty rotten place. Thor rebelled against his father and was banished from Asgard; Adam and Eve rebelled against God and were banished from Eden. But we’ve discovered an even more grim truth: when you and I rebel against God through our sin, we are separated from Him as a result. That’s miserable sounding, isn’t it?
But there is good news. In fact, in the midst of all the punishments God dished out that day in the Garden, there was one that we didn’t talk about in our small group discussion time. I wanted to save it for our Wrap Up time, because embedded in the punishment is some good news for us. Let me read it to you again:
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
You may not understand all that, so let me break it down for you quickly. First, notice that God ALSO punishes the serpent – aka, the Devil – for his role in our sin. That’s good to know, right? God isn’t just upset with us; He’s also upset with the one who caused us to sin.
But secondly, God says he will make the serpent a lifelong enemy of people. He says that the serpent’s offspring will always be around to strike at the heels of mankind, but that the woman’s offspring would one day “crush” the serpent’s head.
While that paints a picture of actual events that have played out millions of times in the history of mankind – people killing snakes – what God REALLY had in mind was the victory Jesus would have over the Devil many, many years later. The woman’s offspring, Jesus, would ultimately crush the head of the serpent, the Devil by dying on the cross and being resurrected three days later.
(Leaders: Take a moment to explain Jesus’ victory on the cross and its meaning for us.)
Did you catch that?!?!? Way back at the very first sin of mankind, God had a plan for restoring us! Isn’t that incredibly awesome!?!?!? Even though there was a punishment for Adam and Eve’s sin – just like there are punishments for OUR sins – God has made a way through Jesus for us to be forgiven and returned to His presence.
If you’re here right now and you’re apart from God because of your sin, then you need to go to God and admit your rebellion. Tell Him that you’ve sinned against Him and that you’re guilty. Ask Him for His forgiveness and tell Him that you’ll live the rest of your life for Him. I promise you, He will forgive you because He wants to live life with you! That was the reason He created us in the first place!
Don’t leave here without getting back into a relationship with God!
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; 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 TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.