Saturday, March 25, 2017

Christus Victor in the Matrix

  Read this and watch the movie excerpts, and respond to the questions at bottom  of page  (in red) by answering them back on Moodle.
Be sure your answers show you read and watched, and didn't just use posts by other students.


Even if you have never seen the Matrix films before, it is an adventure to watch Jesus/Bible connections.  Even people who who have seen the main (first) film in the trilogy, the idea that the Jesus story is there at all, is sometimes new news.

On one level, the story is about a group of people who realize the world is fake, a computer-generated simulation called the Matrix, and they have escaped it, and help others to escape to Zion (Bible language for heavenly
city).   Their leader is Neo, who has unique abilities to save them.  Besides the clue that Neo dies and resurrects, there are many other hints that it can also be a Christian allegory.

It seems clear, though, that Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a Christ figure.
And that he...and the others...all represent one main person in the Jesus/Bible story, but also two or more characters:
  • The name Neo  means "New," is an anagram  (rearrange the letters) for "One" (Messiah is "The One" in Hebrew) and "Eon" (Greek word in Bible for Kingdom Age").  Neo is also known as Thomas Andserson ("Thomas: is a "doubting Thomas" and "Anderson" literally means "Son of Man, " which is what Jesus calls himself.  So he is Christ, but also a disciple.
  • Morpheus is always saying about Neo that "He is The One."  That is exactly what John the Baptist said about Jesus, you'll remember.  Morpheus, in lesser ways, is also a Peter (leader of the disciples) figure.  Sometimes God the Father. Also Lazarus, who Jesus raised. from the dead
  • Trinity represents...well, the Holy Trinity, but also at times she is  The Holy Spirit, and sometimes the Marys.
  • "Cypher" is the devil (Note; Lu-Cyher) in a way, but also clearly Judas (he betrays Neo for money).

Tons of Jesus and Bible connections throughout the first movie.  Numbers are often symbolic. Note, here above  is the plaque on the wall that Neo walks by.  I bet you know what Bible verse to look up when you see it.

Agent Smith is a devil figure,  Look at his license plate.  You'll know to look up Isaiah 54:16, which says "I, the Lord, have created the smith for the day of destruction.: No accident.

 Watch the trailer:
Here below are some scenes from the first part of the first movie (we watched these in class week 2),
  They may seem confusing if you're new the the movie. That's OK; look for similarities to the Jesus story, particularly how Jesus encounters his call and is baptized. Even look for a temptation/testation.   Think who the characters might represent:

Here is the final scene of the first film.  Neo has just died and resurrected.  Then he makes a phone call.   Compare what he says to "The Great Commission" in Matthew 28:18-20.  If you watch carefully you;'ll even see him ascend to the skies as Jesus did.

Here below are some scenes from the end of the third film, ":Matrix Revolutions,"  Here watch for Christus Victor.    Clue: Neo goes to die in enemy territory.
 Watch for lots of crosses (kudos if you find a snake tattoo that turns into a cross).  Fascinating whose voice speaks when Neo dies, and what he says "It is done"  (Jesus said this when he died).  Note that at the same time Neo is dying, in another realm he is duking it out with the devil and demons (This is kind of what the early church taught about Jesus death.  Look for a cross over Neo's head at 1:26 in the first clip:


Here's some video on Christian connections.  OPTTIONAL> Watch, and if interested, more parts on YouTube: Here is a link to some resources on The Matrix to pursue the Christian connections.

After reading the above, watching the excerpts, and looking  at least one of the resources linked:

a)What connections do you see to Jesus, or any Bible stories?
b)How is the movie also a very different than the Bible version of Jesus?
c)Talk about the connections to Jesus' death and Christus Victor you saw.
d)Had you ever known about these connections?  What do you think/feel about all this.
e)The best you can, tell the story of the Matrix in a paragraph.
f)Why do you think so many mainstream films pick up on the Jesus story, and have Christ figures?

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