Forgiveness can sometimes be hard to come by, especially when the offending act is rooted in hatred and racism.
In the 2015 movie, Gallows Road, Bob Collins and Jake Knight are both struggling with forgiveness. It is impossible for Bob (Ernie Hudson – Ghostbusters, “Oz”) to have any compassion for Jake and the Cain brothers, Snake and Matty, after his wife and two young kids die in an “accidental” house fire. Jake (Bill McAdams Jr. – Major League II, Noah) is unwittingly dragged into the Cain brothers’ heinous plot and feels guilty for not trying to stop them. Because of his part in this abhorrent crime, Jake thinks Bob or God cannot and should not forgive him.
However, Jake’s friend, boss, and unofficial spiritual advisor, Frank Thompson (Kevin Sorbo – “Hercules,” God’s Not Dead), reminds him, “There ain’t no sin greater than God’s forgiveness.” Frank tells Jake that it says so in the Bible and all you have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is ask.
Snake (Rett Terrell – “The Chosen”) and Matty (Frank Mosley – Some Beasts) have a personal grudge with Bob and his younger brother Seth (Marcus M. Mauldin – Mr. Right), who are about to open an antique store in Aledo, Texas. Coincidentally, the store’s location was previously the spot of a store owned by the Cain brother’s father, who was recently found face down in a creek.
Because of this animosity and a prejudice toward Bob and Seth’s “like,” Snake and Matty decide to terrorize Bob and his family and give them a night they’ll never forget. On their way to Bob’s house they pick up Jake, who is unaware of the brothers’ plans for the night.
When they arrive at Bob’s house, the brothers point shotguns at Bob telling him that they don’t like him and he’s unwelcome in their town although he’s done nothing wrong. Bob’s dog attacks Snake while Matty hits Bob across the face with the stock of his shotgun. Jake tries to intervene, but Snake puts his gun to Jake’s neck and tells him they’re going to burn down Bob’s house for “the Brotherhood.”
Jake withdraws to the truck as Matty lights a bottle and throws it on the porch, setting the whole house ablaze.
Unfortunately, the law is on the Cain brother’s side since their Uncle Joe (Brent Anderson – “American Crime”) is the town sheriff; therefore, the abominable crime is deemed an accident.
At the funeral for his wife and children, Bob reveals to Seth that the last thing he told his wife before she died was to “trust in God.” He then tells Seth, “It was God that let this happen. I’m done with God.”
Bob retreats from society and moves into a barn far from town. He only stops by the antique store whenever he needs to pick up supplies that his brother has gathered for him. In addition to carving figurines for the store to sell while in isolation, Bob has been honing his knife-throwing skills in preparation for something on the horizon.
During one of Bob’s trips to the store, Seth invites him to come to church with him on Sunday, but Bob tells him he doesn’t have to go to church to talk to God. Instead, he’s decided to kill all three of the guys responsible for murdering his family.
Meanwhile, Snake and Matty have plans to finish what they started after learning of Bob’s whereabouts.
After the night of the fire, Jake begins to distance himself from the Cain brothers; however, unfortunately, his guilt and shame have driven him back to drinking. Snake and Matty try to get Jake to stop thinking about that night and convince him that they did nothing wrong because it was done in the name of the Brotherhood.
The Cain brothers don’t take kindly to Jake’s attempts to ignore them and shirk the Brotherhood. They know they can do whatever they want in their small town with the law on their side and many of the citizens sympathetic to their cause. Because of this, they don’t care when Jake ends up in the hospital after running him off the road.
While Jake is in the hospital, Frank visits him. He tells Frank that he’s not worth fixing and that it’s impossible for God to forgive him because you can’t forgive the unforgiveable. Frank reminds him that with God on his side, there is no sin that can’t be forgiven.
Frank also tells Jake about Gallows Road:
“You’re walking down Gallows Road. I know because I’ve been there myself. It’s a dark road, son. It’s like you’re blindfolded. When you get to the end of that road, there’s those wooden steps you have to go up. It’s like you’re in quicksand. You’re just sinking deeper and deeper.
“When you get to the top, there’s a scaffold with a rope hanging on it. The rope makes this high-pitched screeching sound as that knot digs into the side of your neck. Just like that, your feet are free of land. Snap. You break.
“But the most important thing about Gallows Road, Jake, is this. That blindfold that you’re wearing, you put it there yourself. You can’t be pointing fingers and blaming everyone else for your problems. You wanna make your life better? Then do it. Get off that road. You can turn back any time you want. But you’re the one that’s gotta take that first step.”
Does Jake ask for God’s forgiveness? Does Bob forgive Snake, Matty, and Jake or does he get his revenge? Do the Cain brothers and their Uncle Joe continue their reign of terror or do they have a change of heart? For answers to these questions and others, tune in to Inspiration TV on Saturday, October 10 at 9 p.m. ET and Sunday, October 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET, or Inspiration TV on Demand anytime to watch Gallows Road.
John Farrell is a Digital Content Writer / Editor of Inspiration.org.
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