Alison is a self centred teenager, who, one night, hears her father gunned down by intruders. Panicking, she flees the scene, not realising that in doing so she is making herself the prime suspect. With the police after her, she finds shelter with her boyfriend Steve, who fobs off the police. However the following day, Alison discovers that loving Steve is actually in league with her father's killers. They kidnap her, bundle her into a van, and take her to an abandoned church, where she meets Sadik, head of the gang. He reveals to her that her father was secretly working with a sinister government agency, interrogating suspected terrorists and others with a truth drug which resulted in permanent brain damage. Sadik, Steve and the others are working to rescue the victims and prevent others from being similarly processed. As she is coming to terms with this horrifying revelation, a SWAT team surround the church. Unable to escape, everyone will be killed or captured and their operation destroyed. Alison realises that she alone can save them. She surrenders to the police, and admits to her father's murder, ensuring they do not discover the gang. She sacrifices her life for them.
Biblical metaphors abound in this story. Sadik has gathered together a team of heroic criminals, like David in Adullam's cave; evil men appear good, like Satan appearing as an angel of light; the church is the refuge for the oppressed. But the thematic king-pin is the verse from which the title is taken. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 The theme of self-sacrifice runs all through the Bible, culminating in the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross. However, contemporary culture is focussed on the individual. 'What do I get out of this?' or more subtly 'How does this make me look good?' Alison is of her generation and would never think to spend her resources, energy, time, money or freedom for the sole good of another, without some expectation of a return on her investment. But as the film progresses, Alison comes to see that some things are more important than herself. In making a personal surrender to the police, she is sacrificing her own freedom and future so that Sadik's gang can be free to continue their operation, and expose the evil being perpetrated.