The Shield ended a little while ago but is one of the most intense ‘cop’ programs I have seen. The lead character is a hard detective by the name of Vic Mackey – played very effectively by Michael Chiklis. He leads an experimental group of four ‘cops’ known affectionately as the Strike Team; working exclusively with street gangs in a suburb of LA. They take money off the gangs and justify it by the amount of arrests made; these are often rivals to the gangs that pay them. Suspected of corruption an undercover detective joins the Strike Team in order to bring them to justice. Unbeknown to him Vic knows he is investigating them and kills him during a drug bust blaming his death on one of the gang members at the bust – he is killed as well. That is early on – in the first episode I think. I very quickly gave the series a title of my own ‘Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out’. The series ran for a total of 7, all leading to the possibility of Vic and the team being found out.
In spite of his killing a fellow police officer Vic is a kind of Anti-Hero getting the job done and cleaning up the streets in the process. However, over time the lies and deceptions get more and more complex as Vic continues to protect the team and his own skin.
The last series finds Vic confessing to his crimes in exchange for full immunity. His plan is to continue as an undercover cop with full immunity. However, the conditions for his immunity are that he makes a full confession and that only those crimes he confesses receive immunity from prosecution. The special squad have no idea of the full extent of his crimes and especially the murder of a police officer. Vic begins to go through his crimes. It’s a powerful scene when we finally get to hear and see his full confession. Good to their word he receives full immunity – though only for himself. They are shocked at Vic’s crimes and clearly regret their move.
It was Vic’s confession that – to me – made the sharpest contrast between his lies and scheming with the free and full salvation offered in The Gospel. The deal for Vic was that he had to list every crime committed for full immunity. If at a later date un-confessed crimes came to light the immunity would end and he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
How different this is to the Salvation purchased by The Lord Jesus Christ. On the Cross He made full satisfaction. The immunity for Vic was only for what he had done – but not for what he was. And not for future crimes either. Salvation in Christ goes much much deeper – changing our very natures and forgiving and pardoning to the fullest extent. For past sins, for future sins and our very nature. Vic got his immunity – but he lost everything including family and friends. Those that call upon the name of the Lord – gain everything, even the full forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God and life eternal. All this is freely achieved for the sinner by the Saviour – praise God. It’s not something we have to do, by our scheming or good works – it’s something done for us. Now that’s real immunity!