ChurchETHOS

Dark Knight vs. Jesus Christ

Posted in uncategorized by Nathan Creitz on July 18, 2008

Dark Knight became my favorite movie overnight. Literally because I just watched the midnight showing. The effects were amazing, the plot twists were unpredictable, but ultimately, Batman is such an appealing super-hero because of his humanity. Batman isn’t an alien, he’s a man. Batman doesn’t fly, he has a cape that rigidificates (made up word). He doesn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, he has a grapple gun. The genius of Batman Begins was that Batman had to learn to fight dozens of men using ancient techniques as well as technological breakthroughs. He learned how to become an icon, a symbol, a savior. He isn’t an alien, he’s believable…as believable as a fictional super-hero can be. 

In Dark Knight, Batman exceeded all my expectations for any sequel ever, and expectations were palpable during the hour before the movie started. Never since the re-release of the Star Wars Trilogies on the big screen have I seen so many weirdos in one place complete with costumes and make up (but without the lightsabers of course). With that many crazies in front of, behind, and beside me I had to make a mental note before the movie started not to get my hopes up that this would be as good a movie as Batman Begins. But again, I must say, Dark Knight exceeded my expectations. The crowd probably cheered fifty times during the course of the two and a half hour movie. We must’ve laughed together a dozen times in glee as the villains got their socks knocked off. We must’ve gasped twenty times at an unexpected plot twist. 
And the plot twists kept coming. I felt like I was on a two and a half hour roller coaster ride and every time our car came to a stop to let us off again the operator would flip a switch and we would go hurtling through one more time. Most movies are so unimaginative that the main twist in the movie is predictable. The difference with this movie is that there wasn’t just one twist, there were about fifteen and I didn’t see any of them coming. That really makes for a great story. Plenty of other people will probably talk about the special effects, the acting (Ledger was phenomenal), or the camera work, but I was simply swept away by the writing.
This leads me to another thought (and this is where you may want to stop reading if you were just looking for a review of a great movie): With all its twists and turns, this story can’t compare to the unpredictable, compelling story of Jesus. Don’t worry, I’m not the kind of person who tries to find the spiritual meaning in every movie. There’s probably a church somewhere that will develop a sermon series on the upcoming Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie. That’s not what I want to do here. I simply want to report that the thought struck me that although we don’t have visual stimulation and special effects, the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection will always be a blockbuster in the hearts and minds of those of us who have read it and have been changed because of Jesus’ heroics. 
There were a lot of plot twists in Dark Knight, but no director could ever have thought up the story that God has already written, directed, and starred in as the lead role. However, Jesus is such a great character for the same reasons Batman is such a great super-hero: his humanity and his believability. God, by his very nature is wrathful towards humanity (He’s just too perfect). Humans are the villains (ummm…we on the other hand aren’t that perfect) and deserve justice and God is the One who can give it. Human guilt must be punished. So what does he do? He dies for us. To pardon us would be unjust and therefore, imperfect. Watching a movie like Dark Knight makes me appreciate even more what Jesus did for me by dying in my place. For all the sacrificial, honorable deeds that Batman does in the movie, he never dies for anyone. If he did, he would only die for those who are good. He would never die for his enemy. And yet, “while we were still sinners [or “enemies”] Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8) Could you imagine Batman dying for the Joker? That would be a lame story – except to the Joker.
But it doesn’t end there, the story is so much more astounding when you factor in the twist that God died for humans. Indeed, he took on flesh and became a human so that he could reconcile us to God. It’s hard to imagine Batman dying for the Joker, but now try imagining that the Joker is an evil fruit fly trying to breed evil fruit fly anarchy around the fruit fly world? How insignificant is a fruit fly to you and me and how much more insignificant are we compared to the God who created the entire universe. Yet, God loved us so much that He died for us while we were enemies towards Him. Hollywood will never come up with a better story than this (not the one about the fruit flies, the one about Jesus). And what makes it so good? Jesus’ humanity and his believability. Jesus’ story rings true because it can’t be fiction. The fiction of the Dark Knight can’t compete with the truth of Jesus Christ. I love the action, the story, the special effects, the cast, the acting, and the experience of the movie Dark Knight, but nothing will ever compare to the story of Jesus Christ. I’m happy to enjoy Batman as entertainment and to leave it at that, but Jesus is more than a symbol or an icon, He’s my Savior.
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One Response

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  1. kristarella said, on July 29, 2008 at 8.21 am

    Maybe Batman would die for his enemies… the people of Gotham were demanding he reveal himself/be arrested after all (remind anyone of the crowd and Pilate?). He wouldn’t have died for the Joker though, that would be silly.

    It is a shame that Jesus story/actions can become a normal message to us. I hope I can be in awe of it more often.


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