After the plane crash, the co-pilot is in a medically-induced coma for several days. His legs were crushed in the crash, his pelvis was shattered, and he may never walk again, let alone fly. After he's been out of the coma a day or two, the older pilot comes to visit him in the hospital. At first the young co-pilot sounds angry at all that has happened to him, but then his face changes and brightens and he says "but God preordained all this." He talks glowingly about how this was God's plan, and he knows that God will make everything to be good for those who love Him. Meanwhile, at his bedside his young wife can be heard saying "Praise Jesus" now and again. What a nice Christian couple!
And yet there's something incredibly phony about the two of them. I began to suspect it with his conversation, but she nailed it for me. Here it is: Jesus is not the Savior of this "nice Christian couple" so much as He is their Coping Mechanism. You can tell this by the tone in her voice and the expression on her face when she says "Praise Jesus." The tone is anything but praiseful and hopeful; the expression holds nothing but grim determination and anger. She's almost choking out the words "Praise Jesus."
Her husband's explanation that his injuries were part of God's grand design comes after we see a glimpse of his anger at them. It's almost as if he vents for a bit, then tries to push that anger back inside and whitewash it with this pious makeover.
Most of the movie is about alcoholism and addiction in other characters; but in this little scene it struck me that this couple uses Jesus like the others use alcohol or drugs. They use Him so they don't have to deal with the difficulties of life. They cover up the anger they're ashamed of with false praise. They sidestep the painful certainty that the husband's injuries would cause almost anyone else to cry out "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" by numbing it with the dogmatic explanation that "this was God's plan."
I just have this feeling that while this couple may have seen Jesus on the cross from across the valley, they never actually made it to Calvary. I doubt that they've smelled the sweat, heard the blood as it dropped to the ground or the harsh breathing from His dried-out mouth; I doubt that they've touched the cross or the whip or the nail or heard Him really cry out "Why has Thou forsaken me?" Perhaps if they had they would not be so quick to gloss over their troubles with the paintbrush of "God had this planned." Perhaps they would instead cry and rage and scream and feel as abandoned as Jesus on the cross, and then like the thief on Calvary look up, see Him next to them, and say "Lord, remember me in Your kingdom." It's His promise "Today you will be with me in Paradise" that they really need, not "this is all according to plan."
By the way, a bit earlier in the movie, when the airplane crashes in a field just beyond a small country church where the believers are gathered to worship, after a moment of stunned silence and terror we can see them rushing into the burning wreckage, wearing their white choir robes and all, and pulling out passenger after injured passenger and leading them to safety on the green pasture around them. Apparently no lectures from these Christians about "the plan of God"; just the Christian actions that said "these people will perish if we don't go get them." That's the kind of Savior Jesus is.