Well, Disney, you did it again. You brought yet another animated classic to life with stunning costumes and incredible effects, transporting every audience member back to her childhood.

I am referring, of course, to Beauty and the Beast. Although a more seasoned film critic might find fault with aspects of the movie—yes, parts are slightly hokey and some of the acting is off—I would advise against arguing about the quality of the movie with a 90s kid who grew up on this story and was thrilled at the idea of enjoying it again. I loved every minute of it. I laughed. I cried. I sang. I stopped breathing during the last fight scene, despite knowing exactly how the story would end.

The live-action remake of this “tale as old as time” stays true to the 1991 animated version, down to the colors of costumes and appearances of the actors. This time around, however, I found much deeper meaning in the storyline, resonating with the gospel themes that run throughout.

Belle finds herself imprisoned in the Beast’s cursed castle, after sacrificing herself for her father’s freedom. The residents of the castle, who had been transformed into various household objects, are certain that Belle can save them from their fate. Mrs. Potts, Lumière, and Cogsworth—teapot, candelabra, and clock, respectively—lead the charge to guide the Beast’s behavior. They hope to convince Belle that the Beast is not as horrible as his outward appearance would suggest.

Amazingly, despite the Beast’s rage that caused her imprisonment in his castle, Belle patiently loves and cares for him, carrying him on her horse back to the castle after he was attacked by wolves. She tends his wounds, recites Shakespeare to him, and approaches him with a new tenderness. Such undeserved kindness completely undoes the Beast, as grace often does, and he is unsure of how to respond. He eventually allows himself to accept the love Belle offers him, and his demeanor completely changes. Love and compassion swell within him for the first time in decades. This inward change ultimately leads to an outward change once the spell is broken, and the Beast is transformed back into his human form. And they all live happily ever after!

We, like the Beast, are mean, nasty, selfish monsters, wallowing in our sin and incapable of escaping that condition on our own. Christ, like Belle, comes from outside of ourselves, from outside of the cursed castles of this world, to bring the salvation we cannot accomplish on our own. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (5:6-7).

Just as Belle’s ability to love the Beast breaks the power of the curse on the Beast and the castle, so too does Jesus’s death and resurrection break the power of sin and death over us. Once we are adopted as sons and daughters, nothing we do—past, present, future—can ever change that status and our standing before God.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).