“Sin-Eating”–Some Jason Bourne Thoughts


I am about halfway through watching The Bourne Legacy during my morning exercise-bike sessions. A scene early in the film suddenly hit me as having Lenten significance. The protagonist, Aaron Cross, is having a flashback of a time when, as a member of a special forces unit, he had inadvertantly caused the deaths of innocent civilians. His unit leader recognizes the remorse Cross is experiencing, and delivers this short speech:

“Do you know what a sin-eater is? That’s what we are. We are the sin-eaters. It means that we take all the moral excrement that we find in this equation and we bury it deep inside us so that the rest of our cause can stay pure. That is the job. We are morally indefensible and absolutely necessary!”

Some good theology there. Sin-eating is indeed necessary if  purity is to be achieved. The only problem is that people like Aaron Cross can’t perform the necessary transaction.

I wonder if the folks who developed the script were intentional about the name “Aaron Cross.” A high priest and God’s chosen mode for sin-eating. At Calvary the one true Sin-eater, our great high priest, accomplished the cleansing necessary for effective purity. And he could do it because he himself had not collected any of his own “moral excrement.”  The sinless one took our sin deep within himself. Now, that’s a legacy worth talking about!