Since Biblical representation in film is my favorite topic, I decided to explore the religious possibilities of The Matrix as an assignment for my cinema research and analysis class. I was extremely disappointed with the results of the research involving the religious theme within this film. It amazed me that the topic of Christianity was virtually ignored by the critics and only minimal information was available on the Internet. For this reason, I decided to write this essay exploring the Biblical text involving the Old and New Testaments in relationship to the making of The Matrix.
The Matrix is not only an action packed film that uses breakthrough cinematography, it also has a definite Christian theological theme. It is my theory that The Matrix is metaphorically a science fiction version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in relationship to the original sin of Adam and Eve. The Wachowski brothers have been able to capture on film what Christian theologians have been trying to convey to the world since the crucifixion of Christ. Through this film, they have found a modern, innovative way of communicating the significance of the birth and death of the Messiah, in relationship to the enslavement of the world by Satan through the original sin in Genesis.
The Matrix is a computer system that symbolically represents Satan. It deludes the world into believing a lie that they are in control of their own destiny, when actually the world has already been condemned to the bottomless pit of Hell as a Duracell Battery. The defenders of truth, the resistance force, hacks into the Matrix by telephone. Their bodies are separated from their minds and, through the modem, are mentally inserted into the computer system. Their goal is to reveal the truth and unplug individuals, while in search of “The One “(Messiah). By shifting the letter O in the word ONE behind the letter E, the Wachowskis create Keanu Reeves character Neo. Neo as “The One”, has the ability to free the world by defeating the Matrix for the truth and the keys of life. This is the embodiment of Christianity. The original sin committed by Adam and Eve (Gen.3: 13) has already condemned the world (Rom.5: 12-19) and allows Satan’s lies to rule the earth. (Rev.12: 9, Zech. 3:1&2, Job 1:6, 2:1) The world can only be freed by faith (John 3:15-18), believing that Jesus Christ died for their sin (Hebrew 10:10-12, Rev. 1:5, Ish. 53), defeated Satan for the keys of death, and the reward for all who believe is eternal life. (John 5: 24, Rom.5: 21, Rev.1: 18, 2:10)
By examining the film’s characters, the cinematography, and the script in accordance with the Bible, I feel my theory can be validated that a science-fiction Messiah has been resurrected in The Matrix. To adequately analyze the level of biblical representation in this film, one has to first understand the depth and the impact of The Matrix in relation to the characterizations of the Devil. With this in mind, I have decided to save the best (the good guys) for last and focus on the symbolic nuances of the Matrix and its associates.
Similar to the film Terminator, in the Matrix man developed AI, an Artificial Intelligence that constructed machines that humans could not control; the consequence was war. AI and the machines needed solar energy for power. In hopes of winning the war, man scorched the sky, eliminating the use of the sun for power. What was left was a desolated planet surrounded by darkness that was mastered by electronics. AI discovered that man’s life source had all the energy they needed to survive. So they developed ways to harvest it by enslaving the world’s population. To govern the minds of the human beings, AI and the machine designed the Matrix. Its job was to appease the world by misleading them into believing that they commanded their own lives. In actuality the world’s minds were enslaved, haunted into accepting dreams and nightmares as reality, programmed by the Matrix. The entire world was plugged into electrical sockets, asleep in cocoons within a bottomless pit as a human power plant.
Cinema has usually failed to effectively depict the Biblical references involving Hell and the quantity condemned to it. Such movies ordinarily showed an individual tumbling into a black pit full of fire and flames. For example in the movies Purgatory and Spawn, the characters screamed as they fell into a fiery bottomless pit. The Wachowskis metaphorically depict the forceful omnipotent effect of captivity in Hell. The efficacious scene reveals to the viewer the big picture, the extent of the deceitful machination of the Matrix and how it affected the entire world. In that scene, the camera’s perspective is from the eye of a newly unplugged individual, Neo. He awakens within a dark and dismal place, totally unaware of his location and realizes how lost and vulnerable he is. The camera pans side to side, but it isn’t until the camera pans down that the viewer is faced with the impact of the situation. There is a powerful visual effect of the endless smoky pit, filled with cocoons of humans encompassed by a red fiery color gel. Their physical bodies are imprisoned and so are their minds. The lightning traveled from the bottom upward to imply that deep within the dark chasm, there is an evil and powerful presence that lurks. This overhead downward shot, gives a strong yet helpless effect that can make the viewer sit back and say, “Wow!”
In the Bible, Satan is also known as Lucifer, the most beautiful angel that God made. (Ezk 28:11-17, 1Tim. 3:6) In time he, like the machines, wanted to be as powerful as his Creator (Ish.14:12-14) and war broke out in heaven. And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his Angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he is thrown down to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12:9, Fruchtenbaum, 382-388)
According to the biblical text, Satan and his demons’ goal is to deceive man into loving the world instead of God or even into believing that there is no God. (I John 4:12-17) Like the Matrix, Satan wants men to believe they are in control of their own destiny. The Bible states (Rev.14: 9-13, Ish. 34:8-10) that anyone, who does not believes in the Messiah, automatically is condemned to the darkness of Satan and is doomed to share his fate. (Luke 16:19-31)
In the film, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a leader in the resistance forces, states that anyone who isn’t unplugged from the Matrix is an enemy. The Matrix has dominion of the minds in the world for power; Satan has dominion over the power of evil on earth. As man created the AI that spawns machines, God made Lucifer, and in both cases vanity feeds their ambition for absolute power. Their one common foe, identical in the film and in the Bible, isn’t the world; they have mastered that realm, but “The One,” the Messiah who retains the powers of Zion. He is the ultimate truth that will enlighten the world, freeing it from darkness. Acts 26:18 states, ” to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
To prevent the truth being revealed in hope of victory, Satan and the Matrix need to keep the blindfold over the world’s eyes. The gatekeepers of darkness aid them to lock out the rays of truth; Satan’s angels are demons, and the Matrix’s demons are agents. They have similar mystical abilities used to torment and possess the human beings of the world.
The Matrix agents have superhuman strength, quickness and leaping ability, seeming to fly by jumping about 30 yards from one building to another. The Bible describes how God allows angels to have great powers with the ability to destroy whole cities like Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:1-13) Even in that situation, an angel was able to strike the evil men with blindness. Since demons are angels ruled by Satan (Mark 3:22-26), they too have superhuman power and can make someone blind, deaf and mute. (Matt. 12: 22) In The Matrix, one of the agents is able to strike Neo, a newcomer to the resistance, with muteness. The agent, Mr. Smith (Hugo Weaving), only asks the question, “What if you were unable to speak?” when Neo’s mouth begins to form a skin webbing, sealing it and making him unable to speak. The viewer now realizes that the agents have the ability to inflict disfiguring torture with just a word.
Another skill that the demons and agents have in common is the ability to possess the bodies and minds of human beings. They can actual take over and control the individual’s thoughts and actions. Demons in the Bible inflict physical and mental illness and only through the power of the Messiah can the demon be depossessed (Matt. 8:28-32) In the Matrix the agents occupy different people’s bodies to travel from one location to another. The world in the Matrix functions as a collective system that is totally aware of what is evolving within it. When an individual becomes cognizant of a critical situation, simultaneously that information is communicated to an agent. If he needs to address the circumstance immediately, the agent just assumes control over that individual’s body. It is only by choice or the death of the possessed individual that agents remove themselves.
The Wachowskis have used a few controversial areas that some viewers may associate with United States, like the Fifth Amendment and the opposition to a mixture of religion and government. The agents are determined to locate and destroy the only human city left, called Zion. In the Bible, Zion is God’s holy mountain. (Psalm 2:6, 9:11) With the use of the agents, the Wachowskis introduced this new element. When the viewer witnesses the arrival of an agent, he looks like a government official with a clean-cut appearance, wearing a polyester suit and listening device for communication within the Matrix. This is a disarming image that reflects the power and authority of the government on behalf of the people. In the beginning of the film, the police are at a dilapidated hotel as an agent arrives. Depending on the viewer’s personal perspective on government officials, the viewer may have instinctually favored the authority figures. By the time the viewer is aware that the Matrix is the false evil government, the Big Brothers Watching Syndrome begins to set in. The idea that the government knows and controls our lives, can create a paranoiac feeling within the viewer. To fuel both concepts further, the Wachowskis exploit the idea of an informant. By using the character Cypher (Joe Pantoliano), they create the juxtaposition of a Matrix government spy with the powerful impact of the religious consequences of Judas betraying Jesus.
Cypher/Informant/Judas The character Cypher’s attitude regarding his circumstances and his environment closely reflects Freud’s analysis involving the cathexis and anti-cathexis. The external frustration of Cypher was caused by the lack of comfort in the dismal existence with Morpheus. Cypher’s frustration was amplified internally due to his lack of ability to satisfy his personal requirements for self-gratification. “External frustration (cathexis) is a state of privation or deprivation, while internal frustration (anti-cathexis) is a state of inner inhibition. (Hall, 49) Cypher’s frustration exposed obvious aggressive behavior, attributes that resulted in his betrayal of the resistance force. He believed that by aggressively offering to become an informant for the Matrix, he would be able to overcome barriers that deprived him of his needs. (Hall, 69)
By utilizing rumors regarding President Reagan, the Wachowskis were able to link up the images of the government with Satan and Cypher. In the restaurant scene, Agent Smith addresses Cypher as “Mr. Reagan.” The Wachowskis injected an abstraction of a religious obloquy in regard to negative buzz concerning President Reagan. Embroiled by “Reaganomics,” some people experienced financial stress. Disillusioned with Reagan, rumors developed referring to him as Satan or the Anti-Christ. Similarities in the Bible pertaining to Satan coincidentally matched Reagan. The Bible states that the Anti-Christ will be mortally wounded and bears the numbers 666. (Rev.13: 11-18, Dan 7:3) Since Reagan was lethally shot and his full name, Ronald Wilson Reagan, 6 letters in 3 names insinuate an evil inference. Cypher is stating, “I don’t want to remember a thing”; could have implications regarding Reagan’s current illness Alzheimer’s disease, which affects his memory. In the same scene, Cypher told Smith that he wanted to be rich and someone important, like an actor, Reagan’s previous career.
Besides the inflection between the names of Cypher and Lucifer, the Wachowskis really focus the biblical connection of Cypher to Judas. In the beginning of the film, by use of dialogue, the viewer is made aware of an informant who’s helping the agents. In the opening credits, the viewer only sees the computer screen during a verbal exchange between Cypher and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss). She asked if the line is clear. Cypher says yes. Meanwhile the Matrix is tracing the call. In the same conversation, Cypher announces to her that they are going to kill Neo. Who are they? Who has the most to lose? Certainly not Morpheus or the resistance. That leaves the Matrix.
The encounter in the restaurant to disguise Cypher’s betrayal is similar to Judas’ meeting with the Pharisees. For the meeting to take place without the resistance force knowing, Cypher had to hack into the Matrix alone. That’s exactly what happens in the Bible, in regard to Judas betraying Jesus.
And Satan enters into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve disciples. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. And he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the multitude. (Luke 22:3)
At the Last Supper, Jesus’ disciples were at the Passover table when Jesus revealed who was going to betray Him. Jesus knew Satan had possessed Judas and told him, “What you do, do quickly”. (John 13:21-27) In The Matrix, the Wachowskis used a sequence of scenes and shots simulating their version of the Last Supper. While they are in a room having their last meal together, Morpheus enters and announces that they are going into the Matrix for Neo to meet the Oracle (Gloria Foster). The Bible describes an Oracle as messengers sent directly from God to prognosticate the future to specific individuals. (Isaiah ch.13-23) In the movie she was more like a prophetess, guiding individuals to their destined paths. Everyone gets up from the table; the next shot is a close up of Tank (Marcus Chong) as he loads the program to hack them into the Matrix system. The film cuts to a room with just a square table, and on it is an old fashioned telephone that is ringing. The camera height is almost level with the table as it begins panning from the left side, circling the table slowly. In the midst of the pan, the Wachowskis cut to a circular panning overhead shot of the resistance force in a mental trace locked into their reclining chairs. Both pans are in unison while inter-cutting back and forth between the two scenes. In the last cut, the pan ends, completely circling the phone, reaches the head of the table with a wide shot of the resistance force dressed fashionably, formally posed for a portrait. It was like the Wachowskis rendition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper.
The Wachowski brothers also used cinematography to depict an image of Cypher as sinister leading up to his betrayal of the resistance force. Upon returning from the Oracle, there is a wide-angle shot of Cypher and Neo getting out of the car. The camera cuts to an extreme close-up of Cypher smiling devilishly at Neo; simultaneously, the reflection in his glasses has a visual effect that limns an image similar to evil red eyes. The Wachowski brothers also used Cypher to represent the negative emotions that are associated with the Devil. Beside his desire for greed, he also expressed his lustful attitude toward Trinity and extreme jealous of Neo. Cypher, the agents and the Matrix strongly resemble the Bible’s rendition of Satan and his cohorts.
Analyzing the heroes metaphorically in relation to the Bible strengthens my theory’s foundation. First, examining Morpheus as a father figure in relationship to God, Trinity as the Holy Spirit, Neo being the Messiah and the resistance force as his disciples.
Morpheus/God Morpheus, which is Greek for Dream God, was the leader of the resistance force who unplugged most of the disciples. The emergence of this character to the viewer was critical to support the religious theme in this film. The introduction of Morpheus begins the biblical connection to father figure of God. As the head of the resistance, he is looked upon as an all-knowing father who nurtures and motivates his children with the expectation of obedience. This concept of a parental relationship directly correlates with Sigmund Freud’s theory of mental development of a child through the Superego.
The superego is the person’s moral code. It develops out of the ego as a consequence of the child’s assimilation of his parents’ standards regarding what is good and virtuous and what is bad and sinful. By assimilating the moral authority of his parents, the child replaces their authority with his own inner authority. The internalization of parental authority enables the child to control his behavior in line with their wishes, and by doing so to secure their approval and avoid their displeasure. In other words, the child learns that he not only has to obey the reality principal in order to obtain pleasure and avoid pain, but that he also has to try to behave according to the moral dictates of his parents. (Hall, 31)
By combining the theory of Freud and a form of biblical representation of godly communication, the Wachowskis were able to deliver an authoritative character in Morpheus.
The Wachowski brothers had the difficult challenge to create a spiritual awe of an all-knowing God within the image of a man. In the Bible, occasionally when God himself decided to communicate with man, it was usually a powerful voice that vibrated through the air. The lack of visual contact with God in the Bible generates a mystique that forces the individual to perceive Him as omnipotent. To create the same powerful instincts of Morpheus within the viewer, the Wachowskis imitated the Bible by introducing him vocally. By using modern technology, they brilliantly approached this dilemma by allowing Morpheus’ voice to penetrate the air via a cell phone. For example, Neo receives a package from Federal Express that contains a cellular phone. In an extreme close up, as the phone falls out of the package into Neo’s hand, it rings immediately. Only Neo and the viewer hear Morpheus’ deep powerful voice. The other characters are oblivious to Morpheus. The mystic around Morpheus makes the viewers curious, yet privileged to be aware of their communications. The omnipotence of Morpheus begins to manifest as he informs Neo, “They are coming for you,” referring to agents that have infiltrated Neo’s office. Neo decides to escape. Like radar, Morpheus guides him through the office maze, frame by frame. Neo, in complete awe, asks Morpheus, “How are you doing this?” Neo’s statement clearly depicts the awe of Morpheus’ ability to be an all-seeing and all-knowing individual like God.
In the opening scene, the Wachowskis not only begin to develop the omnipotence of Morpheus, but they also introduce him as a motivating father figure. When Trinity realizes the Matrix has traced her location, she calls Morpheus. Like a father, he informs her about the agents, and in a demanding deep tone he admonishes her “You have to focus Trinity,” and “You can make it!” Then he commands her to “Go!” Showing complete obedience to Morpheus and faith in his judgment, Trinity makes her escape. Morpheus tone implies that he has faith in her ability to escape her dangerous predicament. The Freudian principal of psychological reward for parental approval within a child can be resulted by the positive tone with words or by a facial expression such as a smile. (Hall, 32) A parent’s trust and faith makes all the difference to a child who relies on it to succeed and please their parental mentor.
In the Bible, Queen Esther was faced with a similar situation. The King, unaware that Esther, his wife, was Jewish, was deceived by his evil advisor, Haman, into signing a death decree for all Jews. Esther knew she was safe because only her adopted father, Mordecai knew she was Jewish. Yet what about the rest of her people? Her father admonishes her, insisting that she must try to sway the King to change the edict. If she approached the King without being summoned, she could be put to death. Mordecai told Esther to have faith in her abilities by trusting God for a positive outcome. (Esther 2-10) Both Trinity and Esther faced risky situations that could have resulted in their deaths. Yet by relying on their fathers’ faith, they were able to trust and believe in themselves to resolve the circumstances brilliantly.
The nurturing part of Morpheus was revealed when Neo was born as an ill adult, expelled out of the Matrix’s cocoon. Born to the real world, Morpheus nursed him to health. Once Neo was well, Morpheus began to show him his new home and educate him about the realities of the Matrix. When Neo was ready, it was Morpheus who began his combat training to fight the agents. Morpheus gave Neo the tools to survive. As a nurturer, Morpheus and Neo are more like God and Adam. God didn’t use angels when dealing with Adam. He actually had a face to face physical hands-on relationship with Adam on earth. (Gen.3: 8) Like Morpheus relating to Neo, God walked with Adam, teaching him about the Garden of Eden and all the possibilities. Morpheus likewise tours his ship Nebuchadnezzar with Neo inducing him to the reality of his situation. What made both predicaments similar yet unique to most humans was that Adam and Neo were born as adults in unfamiliar environments having to trust a father-like image for guidance.
The image of God and Morpheus as an omnipotent father figure clearly depicts the powerful principles of obedience of their followers, not by demand but by choice. In the Bible, God’s desire was that humans would to choose to be obedience and through their willingness to follow Him. In return, like a parent, he would care for their every need. The only way God could test whether man and his mate were willingly seeking and trusting Him was to create a trial of obedience. So God placed the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were instructed by God not to eat of that tree for they will surely die. (2:17) God made the tree, so beautiful to the eye so it would be a form of mental temptation for them. Every time Adam and Eve walked by the tree without touching it, it meant that they chose to follow and obey God.
In the office scene after Morpheus reveals that the agents are coming for him, Neo decides to escape. With the concept of obedience, Morpheus states, ” I can guide you, but you must do exactly what I say.” Once Neo reaches a critical point in the escape route, he begins to waver. On the phone, hearing Neo’s reluctance to follow the plan through, Morpheus states, ” The choice is up to you.” Morpheus wants Neo to trust him and choose to be obedient and follow his plan. It is only when Neo doubts his ability to comply that he rejects Morpheus’ strategy and gets apprehended by the agents of the Matrix.
In both The Matrix and the Bible, obedience has a positive conclusion, but with disobedience the result is either discipline or the natural negative repercussions of one’s decisions. Again, Freud uses two subsystems in relation to the development of superego in regards to reward and chastisement: the ego ideal and conscience. (Hall, 31)
The ego-ideal corresponds to the child’s conceptions of what his parents consider to be morally good. The parents convey their standards of virtue to the child by rewarding him for conduct, which is in line with these standards. Conscience, on the other hand, corresponds to the child’s conceptions of what his parents feel is morally bad, and these are established through experiences with punishment.
As long as Adam and Eve were obedient to God, they were happy and contented.
Trinity’s obedience to Morpheus’ instructions resulted in a positive outcome of her escaping. Yet when the opposite occurs, disobedience, the negative reaction transpires. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God chastised all parties involved. He banned them from the Garden; man had to work to survive instead of relaxing with God’s provisions, women would suffer labor for childbirth, and the serpent, instead of walking, would now have to crawl on its belly. (Gen. 3:14-19)
Since Neo didn’t trust Morpheus’ assessment of the situation, the negative consequences were terrifying for him and the viewer. It allowed Neo to be seized, interrogated by the agents, and physically abused. As the viewer watched in horror, the agents use an electronic bug that turned to life as a scorpion that crawled into Neo’s bellybutton. The bug device further impressed the fear that the government is personally impeding in our lives. If Neo had believed and trusted Morpheus, he could have saved himself from this torturous situation. The power of obedience in the Bible and the film allows both God and Morpheus to form a deeper commitment of love as nurturing motivating father figures.
In the opening of The Matrix, the viewer is introduced to Trinity, a female who metaphorically represents the love of the Holy Spirit with the perception of Eve. The Holy Scripture depicts the Holy Spirit as a male entity. (John 16:13) The Wachowskis cleverly change this concept. During the disco scene, Neo states” I thought you were a guy!” Trinity’s response is, “Most guys do.” By using a female, the Wachowskis add a feminine dimension to the film, allowing them to create an emotional bond between certain characters. For example, it is her love of the father figure, Morpheus, and the romantic love of the son figure, Neo, that unites them as one.
The word “Trinity” doesn’t exist in the Bible. Yet, Trinity is a powerful word in the Christian doctrine. The word was developed by the early Christian theologians to represent the theory of “three in one.” God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit are bound together to be one, “The Trinity”.
The Holy Spirit’s job in the Bible is to do the Father’s bidding. In Genesis, it was the Spirit that moved across the surface of the earth. (Gen.1: 2) In the New Testament, the Spirit was also responsible for the holy incarnation of Jesus Christ in the Virgin Mary. One of the most powerful statements in the Bible involves the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12: 31-32, states:
Therefore I say to you any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.
The Father holds the Holy Spirit in such high regard that rejecting him is the only unforgivable sin in the entire Bible.
With Trinity, the Wachowskis also wanted to create a similar effect of power and authority. To metaphorically resonate like the Holy Spirit of God, she needed superhuman abilities. The most dramatic introduction to Trinity was actualized in the opening fight sequence. With the use of cinematography and special effects, the Wachowskis choreograph a brilliant series of shots. Trinity’s movement depicts reflexes that were crisp with sharp, accurate blows against her opponents. By running up the side of a wall, she actually avoids being shot by the enemy. At one point, she leaps up and prepares to kick her adversary; the motion within the frame shot freezes as the camera pans rapidly 180 degrees before full action resumes. It is this effect that gives the viewer the perception that Trinity is more than a human being. As the foot chase begins, the viewer sees her jumping incredible distances between buildings which even the police officer states, “That’s impossible!” The strongest simulacrum of Trinity’s superhuman abilities is when she dives off a building, fully rotating through the air, and flying into a small window. Summersaults down the staircase, she lands on her back, pulling out two guns and aiming them at the window. The viewer now knows that Trinity is special, that the power she displays is beyond human and earthly expectations. Combined with her Christian name, Trinity, and her superhuman powers, the viewer suspects divine intervention.
As stated earlier, Trinity’s relationship with Morpheus as her mentor emulates a father figure. Freud’s theory of the female Oedipus (Electra) Complex correlates sexual mental development in reference to a father-daughter relationship. There are two levels of development within the Oedipus Complex, the active and the passive. It is the passive level that relates to the father-daughter relationship when the father becomes the object of the girl’s desire. (Nagera, pg. 2-3) The phrase “Daddy’s little girl”, is a normal stage of maturation in females in relation to pleasing their fathers. The development of the Female Oedipus (Electra) Complex is responsible for how a woman relates to her mate as an adult. (Nagera, Pg. 35-54) The combination of Freud’s theories involving the superego and the feminine Oedipus Complex in regard to Trinity creates a character aimed to please Morpheus. Trinity’s appearance and behavior is depicted as masculine-feminine. Morpheus taught her everything she knows. Her masculine abilities were developed through his training. For example, the Wachowskis set the viewer up in the opening sequence by having the police sergeant make a disarming statement about feminine aspects to Trinity. He states that two units are more than capable of handling this little girl and depicts her as an ordinary subordinate female. In the next scene she wipes out both units. Even though killing numerous police officers reflects her supernatural abilities, it also depicts her with a machismo demeanor toward the inferior male cops. Trinity’s skill and attitude are her impersonation of Morpheus.
In regards to Trinity and Morpheus, it is her love for Morpheus as a father figure that changes as it is transferred to Neo. As Neo and Trinity relate to each other, a milder feminine aspect of her character begins to develop. The strong wall of Trinity’s masculine image starts to disintegrate as rapport develops between the two. She takes on the role of nurturer for Neo, not like a mother but similar to a potential mate. Throughout out the film it’s Trinity whom the viewer sees by Neo’s side. On the ship Nebuchadnezzar, she watches Neo closely and brings food to his room while Cypher’s jealously is revealed as he questions her motives.
During conversations with Neo, Trinity’s insecurity or fear of her emotions begins to emerge. She is reluctant to share personal experiences, especially in regard to the Oracle. This aspect of her personality creates a vulnerability that conflicts with the superhuman women portrayed in the opening scene.
It is only when Morpheus’ life is in danger, that Trinity’s masculine-feminine side takes control again. Trinity challenges Neo’s belief that he can rescue Morpheus alone. She states her belief that Morpheus means more to her than he can imagine and Neo is going to need her help. Then as senior officer and commander of the ship, she overrules his decision by accompanying him on what is believed to be a suicide mission. As Tank once again loads them up to hack into the Matrix, he states, ” What do you need except a miracle?” It is during this venture that Trinity begins to combine her masculine and passive feminine sides, similar to the theory of the Oedipus (Electra) Complex. For example, in the scene on top of the elevator before it explodes, Trinity intimately places her arms around Neo’s neck with a secure confidence. As he places his arm around her waist, Neo tries to convince himself of the reality of the situation. When the helicopter scene is completed, beside saving the two men she loves, Trinity and Neo are able to communicate and coordinate their reactions, which saves her life through the whisper of her name. As a couple, their miracle occurs by successfully rescuing Morpheus and their relationship emerges to a higher level. Using a part of Freud’s theory, the Oedipus (Electra) Complex, the masculine and passive personality of Trinity successfully develops, releasing her from fear and embracing her life with love.
The depiction of Trinity’s love for Neo metaphorically represents the relationship of Adam and Eve. Both were guided by a father figure that desired them to bond as a couple. The differences in the relationships stem from Eve and Trinity. Back in the Garden of Eden, Eve has a negative effect on man’s future through Adam. She was his stumbling block, causing him to commit the original sin by disobeying God, succumbing to Satan’s temptation, nibbling the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and charming Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit. Her unfavorable influence leads to the downfall of man. (Gen. 3:14-24)
Yet Trinity deifies Neo from a positive perspective. She always encourages him to embrace his destiny. In the car scene with Apoc, Switch and Trinity, Neo contemplates whether to continue on the journey. It is Trinity who convinces him to remain and discover the truth; Eve beguiles Adam to take the bite and disobey God. With Trinity’s soft vocal tones, she tells Neo, ” You have to trust me.” Neo wondering why, Trinity further implies that they have been down the negative journey of Adam and Eve. That they now have to build a bridge from the past to a new future and trust her with faith in regard to the path he is about to endeavor.
In the beginning of the car scene, Neo waits to be picked for his first meeting with Morpheus. The Wachowski brothers used negative visual effects of Neo waiting under a bridge, in a dark tunnel at night with a raging storm to metaphorically represent the world’s tribulations on his shoulders. This depicts that man has been underneath the sin of Adam since the Garden of Eden; a theory that is supported by the bridge’s name, the Adam Street Bridge. Adam represents the original sin, Street represents the road from the past and Bridge represents a healing path of hope for the future.
While Neo is alone in the Matrix being beaten by Mr. Smith, Trinity rips a piece of cloth and wipes the blood from Neo’s mouth, stating, “Jesus! He’s killing him!” The Wachowskis use Trinity to confirm the future in relation to the Bible. Jesus was tortured and crucified to correct Adam’s original sin (Ish.53: 1-12, John 1:29, Rev. 1:5), as Neo, too, will be killed to free man from the Matrix. After Neo is proclaimed dead, Trinity faces her fears and professes her love for Neo, revealing the Oracle’s prophecy that she would fall in love with “The One,” Neo (The Messiah). Whispering to the lifeless body of Neo, Trinity convinces him that he is “The One” and can’t be dead. It is her love that brings him back to life. It is her kiss that breathes life through his lips. The negative action of Eve was circumvented by the positive action of Trinity; allowing Trinity and Neo to take off and succeed where Adam and Eve left off and failed.
Neo/ Messiah /Adam
Throughout this essay I have revealed bits and pieces of Neo, comparing him to Adam of the Old Testament and Jesus from the New. My goal at this point is to try to focus on Neo in relation to Jesus as the Messiah and the ramification between the two as a modern version of the gospels. The Wachowskis use dialogue to impress upon the viewer Neo’s importance. When the viewer first meets Neo, individuals are at his apartment to purchase a computer disk. Once the deal is completed, the young man who bought the disk states, “Hallelujah! You’re my Savior, man! My own personal Jesus Christ.” Immediately the juxtaposition involving Neo and Jesus is implied. To take the inference further, the Wachowskis use the meaning of Neo’s real personal name to develop this connection to the Messiah.
Neo’s real name, Thomas Anderson was selected by the Wachowskis to translate a relationship between Neo and the Messiah. The name Thomas reflects Neo’s lack of faith in himself as “The One.” In the office chase scene, it is only when Neo doubts his ability to accomplish the escape that he reflects on the name in reference to doubting Thomas, a faithless disciple of Jesus. When reports surfaced about Jesus rising from the dead, the disciple Thomas refused to believe it. He stated, ” Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Only when Jesus appeared and Thomas witnessed the wounds for himself did he believe. (John 20:19-21) Until Neo was capable of accepting by faith the responsibility of being “The One” to save the world, he keeps questioning Morpheus, “Are you telling me I am able to dodge bullets?” Morpheus replies, ” When you are ready, you won’t need to.” In the Bible this is one perspective of Neo that doesn’t relate to Jesus. Jesus always knew who and what his responsibility was to God and the world. (Luke 24:13-48, Matt. 26:53-54, John 18:11)
Yet it is Neo’s last Name Anderson, that the Wachowski brothers use to create an extremely powerful inference, comparing Neo to Jesus as the Messiah. Continually throughout The Matrix, the Wachowskis have Agent Smith addressing Neo as Mr. Anderson. The name has a duel meaning that combined leaves no doubt of the implications. Anderson is translated into son of Andrew, and Andrew means man; together they symbolize Jesus’ title “Son of Man.” Ryrie’s Study Bible footnotes, page 1457, states,
“Son of man”, the name that links him to the earth and to his mission. It was his favorite designation of himself (used over 80 times) and was based on (Dan. 7:13-14). It emphasizes: 1. His lowliness and humanity (Matt 8:20);
2. His suffering and death (Luke 19:10)
3. His future reign as king (Matt 24:27)”.
In the interrogation room segment, the Wachowskis used special effects to impress upon the viewer that the Matrix permeates every facet of life. In one shot, a see-through design like fishnet haze, merges into the frame to imply that the Matrix penetrates the room. In the scene another reference to Jesus is when Agent Smith confirms that Neo leads two lives, one that has a future and the other that doesn’t. The agent isn’t aware of the importance of his statement. Neo’s normal life as Mr. Anderson can’t compare to his future life as “The One” who defeats the Matrix. Jesus, too, had two lives, his normal one as a carpenter and his future life as the Messiah. The last crucial correlation to the New Testament in this scene was when Agent Smith tried to influence Neo to assist them in apprehending Morpheus. They tried bribing him by saying that they could wipe his record clean a “fresh new start” if he cooperates. This sequence of dialogue implies a form of temptation similar to what Satan attempted to do with Jesus during his forty day fast. In the mountains of Jebel Quruntul, which is Latin for forty, (Ward, pg.225-226) it is believed that Jesus fasted to strengthen his spiritual soul while trying to conjoin with God. Satan tries to sway Jesus in this weakened state, to worship him and promises Jesus the world. Cypher states to Neo, “So you’re here to save the world?” The juxtaposition to Jesus as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) In both cases, Jesus and Neo are being offered something they will obtain for themselves and capitalize on their enemies’ weakness.
The Oracle tells Neo, “Know thyself.” In the Matrix, one’s image is the mental reflection of themselves. Morpheus explains to Neo when one hacks into the Matrix, that individual’s image within the program is described as the mental digital visual of one’s self. In the beginning of the movie, Neo’s image in the Matrix was edgy. Even his clothing didn’t make a statement about his personality; it was simple. It is when Morpheus is captured that he begins to assume a new identity. Neo starts to believe that he has the ability to free Morpheus even though the odds are in surmountable. Neo mutates into the mentally digital persona of the individual Morpheus developed and trained. Dressing similarly to Morpheus, Neo has a bold new attitude. Before entering the Matrix to save Morpheus, Neo asks Tanks to download guns, “lots of guns.” This depicts a man with who is more secure and confident in the task he’s about to undertake. Once Neo has hacked into the Matrix, the viewer visualizes his cool calm demeanor as he sets off the metal detector while walking into the lobby. The cop asks if he has anything that would set off the detector, and Neo boldly opens his black floor length trench coat to reveal numerous guns. The battle in the lobby takes all of five minutes as Neo and Trinity annihilate the enemy. Neo begins to foresee difficult situations and circumvent them by his actions and verbal communications. For instance, in the helicopter scene after Neo rains bullets into the office where Morpheus is held, he whispers, “Morpheus get up.” Morpheus follows his instructions and begins run towards Neo when an agent shoots Morpheus in the knee. Neo immediately realizes that Morpheus can’t complete the jump. Neo leaps out of the helicopter toward Morpheus, catching him in mid air. Throughout Morpheus’ rescue, Neo with the help of Trinity does the impossible. When Neo tells Morpheus that the Oracle said he wasn’t “The One,” Morpheus explains to Neo that the Oracle says what you need to hear. There is a difference between knowing your path and walking it.
Still Neo is unaware of the power that he possesses. The Oracle has told him that he has the gift, but he is waiting for something-maybe his second life. Her statement coincides with Agent Smith’s reference to Neo’s second life in the interrogation scene. It is Neo’s second life that actually confirms the juxtaposition to Jesus. The Wachowskis bring the film full circle as Neo enters the same room where Trinity’s opening battle occurred. When Neo enters room 303, Agent Smith is waiting. There’s a close up of the agent and a close up of Neo as the Wachowski brothers use sound effects to depict a slow motion muffled shot. In the beginning of the third minute, Neo is revived by Trinity’s love; like Jesus who was crucified on Friday and rose again two days later on the third day, early Sunday morning. (John 2:19-23, Matt. 26:61, 27:40) When Jesus arose again he had defeated Satan and opened the gates of death (Job 38:16, Matt.16:18) with the keys to hell. “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18, Dan 10:9-19) In the Bible, Jesus comprehends the power of death and beats it so he can offer eternal life to all that believe in him.
Just as in the Bible, Morpheus tells Neo that the agents of the Matrix are the gatekeepers, the jailers and someone will have to defeat them to set the human race free. The Wachowskis reveal the new power of Neo’s second life instantaneously. Cypher states earlier in the film that the Matrix’s code is too intricate to be interpreted. When Neo rises from the dead, he’s able to decipher the Matrix. The nonplussed agents fire bullets toward Neo, as he simultaneously utters no. The bullets stop in mid air. Neo plucks one, and soon after they all fall to the floor. Furious, Agent Smith attacks Neo. Neo shows his superiority as he fights with one arm, and with one kick propels Smith down the hallway. Neo then runs and jumps inside under the skin of Agent Smith. The other two agents step back as they watch in disbelief. Finally, Agent Smith is put out of his agony as Neo’s light radiates and explodes outward through Smith’s darkness. Illuminated, Neo stands in the hallway flexing his ability within the Matrix. Out of fear, the other agents flee, as do the demons in the Bible when confronted by Jesus. Mark 3:11 states, “And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, “You are the Son of God!” Earlier in the film, the Wachowskis display this biblical reference code Mark III: 11 within the name plaque of Morpheus’ hovercraft to support the juxtaposition of Neo’s and Jesus’ power over their enemies.
After Neo destroys Smith and the squid like machines breach the hull of the hovercraft, Trinity calls out to Neo’s body. He responds by running to the phone to be retrieved out of the Matrix. To protect his children, Morpheus pushes the red button that creates an electrical storm that kills the machine and plunges the scene into darkness. As Jesus first revealed himself to a woman, Mary Magdalene (Mark 16: 9, John 20: 11-18, Ward, pg. 261), after Neo’s resurrection he opens his eyes to embrace the sight of Trinity. For the first time they interlace in a deep passionate kiss. This moment symbolizes their success of using the key of love to release the fate of man caused by Adam and Eve.
The last few scenes in the film tighten up my theory. In the Bible after Jesus arose from the dead, he went to minister to his disciples, stating that a new time was at hand. (Luke 24:44-49, John 20: 19,26,30, 21:1-14) After forty days, (Acts 1:3) as Jesus was lifted into the heavens, he made a powerful statement to his disciples with instructions about the future. (Matt. 28: 16-20, Mark 16:15-20,Acts 1:6-11) The Wachowskis use the second to the last scene to create a similar atmosphere. They revisit the opening shot of the computer screen, but instead of hearing Trinity and Cypher’s conversation, the viewer hears Neo addressing AI, the artificial intelligence that created the Matrix. Neo informs it that its time of dominion is over. The camera zooms in slowly as the words “system failure” appear on the screen. Neo continues to explain that the world is about to face a new beginning without the Matrix. After his dramatic statement, using a close up, Neo hangs up the phone. The camera pulls back as he steps outside the booth, puts on his sunglasses then soars into the sky. By emulating the ascension, the Wachowskis’ focus remains on the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the end.
In closing, by comparing the Old and New Testament to The Matrix, the evidence of biblical influence firmly supports my theory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in relation to Neo, as well as the juxtaposition of Adam and Eve to Trinity and Neo. The Wachowskis have taken the genre of religious film to new heights. Their metaphorical use of the characters, cinematography and special effects makes The Matrix one of the most powerful modern day theological statements of our time. Each time I revisit the movie, I find more visual and verbal confirmation that supports my theory, from camera angles and lighting to the importance of other biblical references such as Zion and Nebuchadnezzar. To really do this film justice, I may have to write a book. It’s a whole New World in cinema and religious representation in film, and the Wachowski brothers are responsible for opening the door by hacking into “The Matrix”.
1) Butler, Ivan. Religion in the Cinema. New York, NY: A. S. Barnes & Company, 1969.
2) Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. The Footsteps of the Messiah. Tustin, CA: Ministries Press, 1983.
3) Hall, Calvin S. A Primer of Freudian Psychology. New York, NY: Mentor Books,1954.
4) Hebrew-English Bible. Jerusalem, Israel: Bible Society in Israel, 1996.
5) Holy Bible. Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard. Chicago, ILL: The Moody Bible Institute, 1986.
6) Nagera, Humberto M. D. Female Sexuality and the Oedipus Complex. New York. NY: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1975.
7) Ward, Kaari, ed. Readers Digest: Jesus and His Times. Pleasantville, NY: The Readers Digest Association, Inc., 1987
|READER RESPONSES[to e-mail authors of responses, remove the spaces and the “(NO SPAM)“]|
|Miek says- Great essay, but we studied that exact topic at school, and here are a few facts we got from the official Matrix reps:
1. It is loosely based on Mark’s Gospel
2. Morpheus is John the Baptist
3. Neo is Jesus, not Adam or anyone else
4. The Matrix is the modern world with all its temptations etc.
5. Zion City is heaven
Read Mark’s Gospel, then watch the movie and you’ll see many consistencies
|Betzalel says- I never thought about the Matrix that way, but now I understand why it struck me as such a deep film. I never was good at picking out smbolism. I especially related to the symbolism behind the Wachowski’s version of the “Real” world as Hell, as being imprisoned alone, mind, body, and soul, is the worst thing I can imagine. I also noticed that in the Real world many of the AI’s machines took the form of spiders, from the tiny maintainance units to the enourmous harvesters. I wondered after reading you essay if the brothers had wanted to capitalize on the common phobia of spiders in their hellish landscape? I’d be interested in any feedback on this theory. Wonderful essay though, I’ll never look at the world of the Matrix the same way again.|
|Rockybehri says- I think the matrix resembles a whole lot of different things Religious, Hacking, Life, and the Government. The matrix may only be interpreted by the viewer who sees the movie. You must see different people’s prospective on this movie if you want to see at least 2 interpretations. I have talked to some of my less educated friends and they say “The movie has cool fight scenes, The rest is just a piece of crap”. Come on, This movie has to be one of the most ingenious movies ever made. There is no other movie I have seen with this many references and I keep getting new things everytime I watch the movie(like a bout a thousand times). If you think this movie is only SFX get the hell out of town because YOU ARE STUPID! Sincerely, Alex Behringer|
|Alex Korza says- This is one of the best essays about the matrix I have ever read. It was well researched and very nicely written. I said “Wow” myself a few times, and even looked in The Bible to match up the lines used in the paper. I was quite pleased. Thank you.|
|Corky K says- My wife sent me this story, because I have been telling everyone who would listen this very same thing since the movie first came out. My sincere respect, gratitude and awe to you for so succinctly summarizing a story I have been trying to tell people ever since I first saw the film. I literally walked out of the theatre already thinking this down this very same chain of analytical analogies to the gospel.
thanks again, for a lot of work done so well!
a Matrix fan, and naturally an even bigger Jesus fan!
|Diana says- I thoroughly enjoyed reading your essay; it was very clear and to the point. All your observations were valid and your Biblical knowledge was impressive! I am in agreement with mostly everything you’ve said. However, this carefully constructed symbolism will turn moot in the sequel – for instance, both Morpheus and Neo get girlfriends, so how do you think the Wachowski brothers will justify/incorporate them? Ideally they should have no graphic carnal desires, or at least we shouldn’t see anything graphic; it betrays their image of being God and Jesus. (I’ve heard there are multiple love scenes – perhaps that’s just a Hollywood thing.) And what’s with the name Nebuchadnezzar as the name of Morpheus’ ship, who was the King of Babylon who destroyed Jerusalem and carried the Jews into Babylonian captivity. Just want to know your thoughts, if any. Thanks!|
|sysfailur- wow. very nice! great read.|
|Eric– This article was by no means surprizing to me. I have been a Christian for 4 years now, and when I first saw the movie in the theatre, I recognized some of the allusions. And, as I am sure the author knows, the movie has actually been used in some campus ministries! However, I think that the movie is more syncratic than ‘Christian’ sure they have lifted some themes and names, but so have they lifted from other sources. Take for example the scene directly before Neo takes the pill. The checkerboard floor, (the white rabbit has already appeared) then the item to be eaten on a table, and a mirror/travel occurance.
These are all lifted from Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Also, the whole idea of Neo having to learn who he really is is more Eastern Monism than Christ’s story. There has always been a bit of debate from the Church as to: What did Jesus know and When did He know it?
|Cyril Thomas– The Matrix was a movie with mixed symbolism. There are a lot of parallels with Neo/Anderson with Christ too. So was with Moses. Moses was the one denied the mission thrice when God (Morpheus)give the mission of saving the Israelites (people) from the dominion of Pharaoh, Egyptian slavery and soldiers and wizards of Egypt (Matrix and Agents). Joshua and Caleb (Tank and Dozer ) and Zion, the last human city (Israel). Let me think of more…|
|Black W– Your theory is an interesting read. It deciphers what I have seen in the Matrix. Although I am a Muslim, I do study a bit of religion, in particular, Judaism and Christianity.
I agree for most part of the theory that it is very close to Christianity. And I agree with the others that it depends on the viewer and that the Matrix is definitely not some stupid SFX movie even though I am a SFX fan.
Overall, under religion, your theory would have scored a distinction. Now can someone please write a theory about the Matrix reference to Life?
|Sam Compton– I think you are right about the whole thing. Afyer I read your whole article I realized things clicked together almost as if the Matrix was based on the Bible. But how could Morpheus be God becuase as the Bible states God is all powerful but Morpheus isn’t?|
|Dadical– II thought this essay was quite good, especialy the psychology aspects. But our Islamic friend is right,what DOES this have to do with life? how do we fit in? Do you remember what Morpheus said to Neo “When the matrix was first built there was a man born inside who could change whatever he wanted, to remake the matrix as he saw fit.After he died the oracle propecized his return that his return would hail the distruction of the matrix, end the war.That was something Adam never did ,so this first individual is Christ,the second, Neo=New is….US! Believers,we are the ONE Who Revelation calls the royal priesthood a holy nation .In the book of kings it calls this type of people “One man” We are the ones whos lives are rooted in the “NEW” testiment and the finished work of christ.All we have to do is realize the truth! As far as The matrix being satan himself, I have to disagree .Morpheus said exactly what the matrix is .”THE WORLD that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth” Satan may use the world but he is not the world itself.2corinthians 10:4-5 says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty for the distruction of strongholds,we are distroying speculations,reasonings and every lofty idea raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of christ.”This world we live in is built on ideas,”rules” as morpheus calls them .that is our true enemy that is our fight, satan was defeated by christ.Satan, like the A.I.that ran the matrix ,could was CREATED .That means he is nor was ever greater or opposed to the creator. not to say that WE created the devil ,but he, like the machines is dependant on the minds of people for his system to work. he only has the power we GIVE him through our thoughts.Cypher, Switch, Apoc, and Mouse represent these thoughts,reasonings,agendas,intentions that would keep us from experiencing the fullnes of christ in our lives Secondly ,Morpheus couldn’t be God the Father ,He was defeated by an agent, remember? instead I think he might be a previous generation ,an Abraham type that Are searching for the “one” Generation that the bible says creation is longing for .And once we “Fall in love with the Trinity” We become that City who’s builder and maker is God.The bible ,like the movie, is not a collection of scattered ideas like this essay ,it’s a whole picture.Joel silver said about the matrix trilogy,”it’s a picture of the times we live in”.The bible is no diffrent.|
|Matt M.– I really think that you linked the movie really well towards the bible, and some religions in general. Just a search one’s self, one’s identity and one’s faith is what I feel the matrix also portrays.|
|Kathy– Great essay…but I wanted to comment on one of the comments… Dadical says, ” I thought this essay was quite good, especially the psychology aspects. But our Islamic friend is right, what DOES this have to do with life? how do we fit in?” First of all…don’t take the symbolism and the parable too far. It goes pretty DARN far, but every parable has its limits. Here’s my take:
Morpheus, throughout most of the movie, is John the Baptist. He is the one who points to Neo, who heralds his coming, just as John pointed to Christ. He could be the Holy Spirit in places, as he teaches Neo to trust the Truth. But his main role is that of John the Baptist.
The Matrix is the world…the world that is apart from God. Cypher is, of course, Satan or at least an agent of Satan. Perhaps the main computer that is running ‘the world’ in The Matrix is Satan…
Neo, through most of the movie, is the Messiah figure, but he is also us in some ways.
I think the main lesson in the movie is faith… “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1). Neo’s problem is he is so blinded by the lies of the Matrix (the world) that he can’t put his faith in the Truth, that Truth that Morpheus refers to when he says, “I’m trying to free your mind.” Remember, we are told in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Neo must renew his mind, change his thinking, before he will be able to defy the laws of physics that bind him in the physical world, since he is now doing ‘spiritual’ battle.
Neo struggles with this just as we all struggle to trust that God knows what He’s doing with our lives and that we can follow Him even when we don’t know where He is leading. Think of Abraham…first he was promised that he would be the father of nations. Then he is told to kill his son, Isaac. Now, how is God going to fulfill that promise if Isaac is dead? But Abraham doesn’t ask. He simply obeys and his faith is rewarded. He knows God will still fulfill his promise and he knows that he must do as God requests. He trusts God completely, even though it didn’t make sense to him.
We, too, can trust God completely. But convincing ourselves to DO IT is the hard part! The main lesson for me in The Matrix was one of putting my faith completely in the Truth and trusting completely with my whole life. Neo had to put his life on the line, fully trusting the Truth he had been taught, even when it did not correspond to the laws of physics he had learned all his life. In the same way, I can put my whole life on the line, fully trusting that God will work out the details even when they don’t make sense and things seem hopeless.
Don’t misunderstand me…I’m still working on living the lesson, but at least I have a fabulously cool story to help me!
In the Bible study my husband and I teach, we often talk to the students about unplugging from the world and trusting God’s truth rather than the truth that the world wants us to believe, like relationships in real life should be anything similar to relationships on TV and that living for our own pleasure is not just ok but is our right as human beings.
And about that spoon thing…I think, when Neo repeats “There is no spoon” he’s focusing his mind on the Truth that he can’t see rather than the physical things in the world that appear to be real and to make sense. I have heard many people say that this is an Eastern philosophy that Christians should ignore, but I disagree. I think it is a surprisingly good way to remember the lesson of The Matrix…the Truth is not always visible and in front of you. But it WILL always win.