This last Wednesday Night, the men’s Converge Group, that I lead, went out to bid farewell to our brother, Kyle. He is leaving on Easter Sunday to minister in Ethiopia for two weeks, so we decided to send him off by filling ourselves full of pizza and burning all of those calories by sitting in a theater.
After finding out that we can only get our student discounts on Thursdays, we walked in to watch the only decent movie that is out right now, Knowing. It’s a movie set in 2009 where all tragic events leading up to the end of the world have been laid out already in some “numeric code”. These prophecies are handed down to earthlings, specifically little kids, by creepy, Vanilla Ice looking guys (later we find out they’re aliens/angels… oops… spoiler alert!).
This is where our hero, Nicholas Cage (John), comes in. John is a really smart guy; a scientist and a professor. As he explains the fact that the earth is just the right distance away from the sun without burning up or freezing, he asks the question, “Is life as we know it predetermined and planned out for a reason? Or is everything just meaningless?” He, of course, being a lover of science, says it’s meaningless. Well, as the story unfolds, we see the old world, and all of its non-chosen population, fried to a crisp by a predetermined solar flare and we see the children chosen by the alien/angel/Vanilla Ice people to populate a “new earth”. Before our prophet, played by Nicholas Cage, is turned into the Human Torch, he asks another question, “What’s the point of me being predetermined to warn of the end, if no one will be saved?” I was left with a sense of hopelessness…
I don’t know if you have seen Knowing yet. If you have, can you even pull theological truth from this movie? I am cursed with having to find some sort of biblical/theological application from everything… so bear with me.
You might believe that nothing is predetermined and God gives us free will to choose Him, or you might be one of those heartless Calvinists who sleeps well at night. Either way, I am not here to fight that battle today. With it being Holy Week this week, I thought I would focus on my one problem with the movie… the lack of a redeemer. Heck! How about the lack of THE Redeemer?
I heard John Piper this last week say that Easter is more important that Christmas. That statement puzzled me, but after a while it makes sense. We celebrate Christmas and His birth by singing carols, setting out our little manger scenes, and giving each other gifts. But this time of year the world doesn’t help us celebrate what Jesus did on the cross with carols and crucifixion yard décor. We also see this demonstrated in the Scriptures where everyone celebrated His birth. They even celebrated His “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:4-11). But once they realized He wasn’t coming to overtake the Roman Empire, they rejected Him, beat Him, and they killed Him… and that’s just putting it nicely (Matthew 27:22-54). The cross is offensive. To ignore it you might say, “Jesus was a good guy. A teacher. Maybe even a prophet who died just like the rest of them.” But you talk about being the Son of God, the King, the Messiah, the one who can forgive sins and all of a sudden He becomes controversial.
This week as we watch Hollywood and the rest of the world portray a hopeless and Godless way of life, let’s remember the One who lived, died and resurrected so that we could have hope and life.
Before we take on the doctrine of Salvation or the end of the world, lets not forget who does the saving and who brings judgment to a fallen, sinful world. And one day when the end of the world does come, instead of questioning our meaning and looking to false heroes, we can praise the King who has redeemed us from this sinful world and who has seated us next to Him in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6).
-Mike, the intern