The Green Mile

The Green Mile

This 1999 film tells the story of a death row prison guard (played by Tom Hanks) and a gentle giant named John Coffey who has been falsely accused of rape and murder. John Coffey turns out to be a Christ-like figure as he takes upon himself the suffering of others, heals those in pain, and eventually dies taking the punishment for another man's sin. (Caution:  This film is rated "R" for strong language and disturbing violence.)

DISCUSS

The main character (played by Tom Hanks) suffers the intense pain of a severe urinary tract infection. The warden's wife is dying from cancer. How do these illnesses provide an allegory of our fallen world? (See "A" Below)

John Coffey is a giant who could overpower the guards and try to escape, but he doesn't. How does his attitude and behavior echo Christ? (See "B" Below)

How does the manner in which John Coffey heals others reflect Christ's work on our behalf? (See "C" Below)

One guard (Percy) and one prisoner ("Wild Bill") show themselves to be particularly evil and unrepentant. In the end John Coffey makes sure each is punished for his persistent wickedness. Does this reflect or undermine Christian teachings? (See "D" Below)

THINK ABOUT IT

A) Every member of the human family, including those who live a good life, are touched by disease and mortality. Disease and death entered our experience as a result of the Fall. (See Romans 5:12)

B) The scriptures describe Jesus Christ as one who behaved as "a lamb to the slaughter" despite having the power to command legions of angels. (See Isaiah 53:6-7; Matthew 27:38-44)

C) Like Christ, he took the pain or disease of others upon himself. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities... By his stripes we are healed." (See Isaiah 53:4-5)

D) Jesus Christ redeems those who repent but judges all who persist in their sin. (See Revelation 21:6-8)

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