Back in the days when towns (in South America anyway) had just one theater and no one really saw previews so you never knew quite what to expect from a movie, (Boy, those were great days!) a little gem called Flatliners came to our town. Now, my appreciation for this film may be affected by the facts that: a) I saw it late at night as a teen, b) I had to walk my girlfriend home afterwards and she lived behind the city cemetery, and c) it was not too scary, so you were able to take the whole thing in. It is one of those great horror films that get you thinking.
For the handful of people who have not seen this movie, it is about a group of medical students being really stupid. They get together at night and medically induce death for a period of minutes and then bring each other back to life, all to see if there is anything after death. In the course of the movie they discover that there is something else. At first it seems wonderful, but then bad things start to happen to each student who has “gone under.” It seems that they have all done some really bad things, and now those sins are haunting them.
This is where the movie gets a little silly, preachy, and yet… Some of what the story offers has a ring of truth to it. You see, in this movie, they cannot pay for past actions. They cannot make amends. In many of the situations the wronged party has since died. They discover that the only way to appease the things that are troubling them is to seek forgiveness. Sort of the way it is in real life. We all have sins and there is nothing we can do to make those sins right in our own power. All we can (and, in grace, all we have to do) is ask for forgiveness.