Does anyone here when they watch movies find that they are linking the movie to stuff in the Bible or seeing parallels between the gospel and the characters in the movie? Just me?
How many times have we seen a film where a handful of brave souls take a stand against evil? Consider The Lord of the Rings, where the fellowship is pitted against the forces of Mordor, or the recent Star Wars, which features a light side and dark side. It’s Xavier vs Magneto. Autobots vs Decepticons.
One of the most heart-wrenching moments in The Chronicles of Narnia is when Aslan surrenders himself to save Edmund. It’s a horrible, beautiful moment when power of love is on full display. How many times have we seen one of the good guys give up their life, or think they’re giving up their life, or give up something else important, in order to save the day? Beauty and the Beast. Saving Private Ryan. Batman vs Superman.
We love seeing the underdog win. We love seeing the flawed hero overcome their struggle to win the day. We love happy endings.
Cinderella meets her prince charming.
Nemo and his dad are reunited.
Westly and Buttercup get married.
Is it also just me that cries in almost every movie they see? Tangled. Yes. Cinderella. Yes. Star Trek. Yes. Force Awakens. No. Seriously.
And this part in Thor.
I think my favourite Marvel movie so far is Thor. Thor really is awesome!
Thor in the movie is sent to earth because of his pride and arrogance by his father Odin the All Father to learn some humility.
NOT A PARALLEL to the Bible.
Stripped of his super powers and cut off from his home in the heavens he walks as one of us – an extremely ripped version of one of us but still.
Unable to wield his might hammer Thor comes to accept that he is no longer worthy of his esteemed position as the Crown Prince of Asgard (his home world). Yet when we the good people of earth are threatened by The Destroyer (a super powered Asgardian security guard) Thor steps up to face the threat despite his (relatively) feeble form. He is willing to sacrifice himself to save us.
There are obviously many differences between Thor and Jesus but the similarity of the basic story of the Son of God sacrificing himself in order to save us should be familiar to most of us.
Philippians 2:5-11 says this – this is what Jesus did and who Jesus is….
Jesus who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Just as Thor stepped in the way of the Destroyer and gave his life to save his friends and the town, Jesus took the punishment that we deserved and died on the cross to rescue us. The destroyer thought that he had thor beaten and the devil thought that he had Jesus beaten but Jesus rose from death on the 3rd day to prove that He is GOD and that He has all the power!
Let’s take thor out of the picture here.
Jesus died to rescue you. You. And you. Because He loves you. He has a plan and a purpose for your life because God created you on purpose. But sin, the dumb stuff we do, puts a block between us and God. God is perfect, holy and our dumb stuff is what the bible calls sin. So God came up with a plan. That Jesus could come and live a perfect life and die in our place and that we would exchange rap sheets. We get the perfect rap sheet of Jesus and Jesus took all our sin and all our rubbish and all our dumb stuff. When we believe in Jesus we invite Jesus to come and be Lord of our life and He makes us come alive on the inside, a supernatural spiritual awakening that makes us whole and clean and innocent, so we can be friends with God.
It’s interesting however that we Christians can sometimes see Christ in movies with more ease than we do seeing Him in the Bible.
Aslan in the Narnia Chronicles.
Neo in the Matrix.
Gandlaf, Frodo and Aragon in LOTR.
This term we’re peeling back the layers of the Bible and looking at the stuff that will blow your mind, that will make you marvel and want to know God more
One of the most awesome places where you can see Jesus in the OT is found in Genesis 22.
There’s even a movie trailer to give you a bit of the backstory….
There are remarkable similarities that will blow your mind between this and between Jesus.
In both stories…
- The father leads his son to be sacrificed.
- A donkey is involved on the road to the sacrifice.
- They leave their “homeland” to go to the place of sacrifice (Abraham & Isaac travel to the mountain, Jesus leaves heaven to come to earth).
- To get from where they are to the place of sacrifice requires a journey.
- Each son is the “one and only son” of his father.
- The son had been born with divine intervention.
- Both accompanied by 2 men: Isaac by two servants (Genesis 22:3) Jesus by two thieves (Matthew 27:38)
- The companions that were with them stayed behind (most likely on the hill across the valley, called the Mt. of Olives) when the son went with the father for the sacrifice.
- Both submitted to their father: Isaac willingly laid down , submitting to his father (Genesis 22:9) Jesus submitted to his Father’s plan and will (Luke 22:42)
- The father believed in resurrection. ABRAHAM REASONED THAT GOD COULD EVEN RAISE THE DEAD, AND SO IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING HE DID RECEIVE ISAAC BACK FROM DEATH. HEBREWS 11:9
- The father loved the son.
- A resurrection was prophesied (Abraham said, “we’ll come back to you.” Jesus said, “I will rise on the third day.”)
- The Lord Himself provided the sacrifice (the ram, Jesus). [Note, the word order in the Hebrew text of Genesis 22:8 could read, “The Lord will provide Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” A foreshadowing of Jesus]
- The sacrifice was a substitute (ram a substitute for Isaac, Jesus a substitute for us).
- The sacrifice was a demonstration of love for God.
- Blood was shed.
- The son ultimately survived the sacrifice.
- The son was resurrected on the third day.
- The son carried the wood/cross to the place of sacrifice.
- The son was laid upon the wood/cross.
- The son was bound to the wood/cross.
- The ram was caught in the thorns, and Jesus had a crown of thorns on his head.
- The sacrifices take place on the same mountain (called Mt. Moriah in the Old Testament, called Mt. Calvary in the New Testament — also known as Mt. Zion, by the way)
Four thousand years before Jesus died on the cross this dramatic encounter plays out.
“God saw Abraham’s sacrifice and said, “Now I know that you love me, because you did not withhold your only son from me.” But how much more can we look at his sacrifice on the Cross, and say to God, “Now, we know that you love us. For you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from us.” When the magnitude of what he did dawns on us, it makes it possible finally to rest our hearts in him rather than in anything else.”
So how should that change things for the here and now for us? How should we live in response to this?
It should make us
- GO WOW – literally marvel at how incredible that is, that God would orchestrate events to tell the story of Jesus back in Abraham and Isaacs life
- Want to read the Bible to discover all the other amazing stuff – and there is heaps of stuff like this!
- Want to be obedient – God is writing His story through our lives. Our obedience matters. No matter how big or small it is – when you get that nudge from God, go with is. You are part of a bigger story, a bigger plan, a bigger purpose.