The Matrix as Messiah Movie

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?

(Neo allegorized as Messiah figure)

C. Allegory of Neo as a Christ Figure

Part 2: The betrayal of Christ

(Note: For a detailed study of Cypher from a different angle, see the allegory of Neo as a Christian in section II of this document. There is some necessary overlap, but each allegory has some different material as well.)

  • The betrayer character is named "Cypher", a play on the word 'cipher'. In the dictionary, some interesting meanings of 'cipher' are 'zero' and 'one that is without value'. Cypher demonstrates that he is indeed without value; he is a selfish murderer. Jesus said about Judas, "it would be better for him if he had never been born." (Mark 14:20).

  • Cypher the traitor is not just betraying Morpheus, who has the codes to Zion, but Cypher is betraying the entire human crew as well, which includes Neo. Cypher almost pulls Neo's plug to kill him, which is a traitorous act directly against Neo. In this sense, Cypher can be typed strongly as Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

  • From the beginning, Cypher never believes Neo is "the One". Even as the film begins, Cypher says, "We're going to kill him, do you understand that?" Cypher also expresses his faithless attitude when Neo is trying to jump from tower to tower in the training simulation. As Cypher talks to Neo alone at night, he says, "Actually, I've been thinking it [the blue pill option] ever since I got here [meaning that Cypher never did appreciate the red pill]." Even Cypher's last words are "No. I don't believe it." To parallel, Judas Iscariot did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. It is interesting that Judas is never recorded as personally referring to Jesus as "Lord".

  • Neo drinks from a cup, then hands it to Cypher, who drinks from the same cup (we see that Cypher was originally drinking from a jug before Neo came). At the 'last supper' before he was captured and killed, Jesus identified Judas by saying, "He who dipped his hand in the bowl with me is the one who will betray Me" (Matthew 26:24).

  • Cypher meets with Agent Smith to betray the humans, just as Judas met secretly with the religious leaders who wanted Jesus dead. Cypher wants to be rich, just as Judas asked for thirty pieces of silver (perhaps the steak cost thirty silver dollars?) Cypher arranges the deal while eating a rare piece of steak. The steak is symbolic of the carnal, fleshly nature of Cypher, and the blood in the rare steak can foreshadow the blood that will be spilled because of his betrayal. 'Blood money', so to speak.

  • Cypher wants to be an 'actor', but Cypher is already an 'actor' - a 'hypocrite' who acts like a willing part of the Nebuchadnezzar crew, just as Judas was an 'actor' or 'hypocrite' who faked loyalty to Jesus and the disciples. Judas even pilfered money from them as they traveled - see John 12:6!

  • Agent Smith acts friendly to Cypher while making the deal, but we know that Smith hates all humans. In the same way, the Pharisees were receptive to Judas when he offered to betray Christ, but they spurned Judas after the betrayal was complete (Matthew 26:15 and 27:4).

  • When standing outside the hotel after Neo has seen the Oracle, Cypher knows the Agents are tracking the cell phone nearby, so Cypher gives Neo a big, nervous smile - a false gesture of affection. Jesus said to Judas, "Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48).

  • While Cypher walks around the hovercraft killing Switch and Apoc, we notice Cypher's red jersey has a big hole over the heart, just as Judas had no heart for people (John 12:6), and not even a heart for Christ. Judas Iscariot was a 'heartless' man.

Cypher dies as a result of his traitorous work, just as Judas committed suicide after betraying Christ.

Back to Contents     Next Document