Thursday, August 11, 2005

Down the Rabbit Hole

First in a series.

I love The Matrix. I love sci-fi to start with, but I really enjoy The Matrix for many reasons, including its grounbreaking special effects. I love the way it can enable one who thinks on such things to view it as sort of a modern allegory to Christ

Some of the similarities are obvious, and I won't recount them here. For more on that go here. But several things struck me as I watched it recently with some friends.

First, The Matrix is a modern day Alice in Wonderland, where up is down and down is up. In the Matrix reality isn't real. What you think you know to be true isn't true. The Red Pill/Blue Pill scene where Thomas Anderson takes the pill that allows him to step out of the false world he lived in really speaks to me. It was as if the scales were lifted from his eyes and his ears were opened for the first time to the truth.

This is oddly similar to a series of discussions that occured nearly 2000 years ago between an itinerant Jewish teacher and the religious leaders of the day. This Galilean rabble-rouser turned the conventional wisdom of the day on its head with his pronouncement that
"many who are first will be last, and the last, first."

This pronouncement did not sit well with the religious leaders who were convinced that their public piety, service to the letter
(but not the spirit) of the law, and maintenance of community order during the Roman occupation would entitle them to special privileges in the afterlife. The Pharisees were greatly disturbed by this teaching because they viewed themselves as better than the average Jewish citizen and had no problem displaying their superiority.

Along comes Jesus to tell them that the Kingdom of God is not attained through their actions but rather through simple faith. In Matthew 5, Jesus declares war on the Pharasaical system of the day with a series of teachings.
  • Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  • Matthew 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
The last one is a direct shot at the Pharisees. Telling them that despite their piety and rules, their righteousness is nothing in God's sight gave hope to the masses and drew a line in the sand. From that point forward the Pharisees were gunning for him. Just like the machines in The Matrix. Neither side could risk the truth getting out to the masses because it would upset the order of things and revolutionize the world.

And their ox would be gored.

Are your eyes open? Can you see the things of God happening in the world? Or do you see the world as you think it is. Dark, futile, pointless, warring, hateful? Or do you see souls waiting to be freed from bondage? Only Christ can open your eyes to see what is present but unseen. Seek Him through his word and get ready to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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