The Matrix as Messiah Movie

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?

(Neo allegorized as Messiah figure)

A. Jewish Messiah or Christian Messiah?

Some may choose to type Neo as a Jewish concept of the Messiah figure. But Neo may better parallel the Christian Messiah, depending on how we view the film. Here's some food for thought:

Neo is not interested in righting the wrongs inside the artificial Matrix society. He does not seek to rid the Matrix simulation of Agents merely so that humanity can live a happy illusion in the Matrix. For example, all systems of government within the Matrix are illusions. For Neo to politically become 'benevolent world emperor' in the Matrix simulation would not free people; they would still be captive in the womb-like pods of the 'power plant'.

Instead, Neo wants to extract people from the Matrix illusion into the real world, even as he was extracted. He wants them to exit and experience the real Zion, not to live in 'better bondage'. Consider this: For Neo to simply remake the Matrix into a paradise would be no different than when the A.I. did that in the first Matrix!

To parallel, many Jews of Jesus' time hoped that the Messiah would be a political one who would free them from the oppression of the Roman empire and set up an earthly kingdom immediately.

But God's plan was much bigger, and it dealt with the root of all problems. The problem of man was not simply politics or society, but enslavement to sin in a corrupted world. God has condemned the entire fallen world system because of sin. Jesus came down and died that humanity could be saved from sin through faith in His atonement, thus given the way to be in God's eternal kingdom, which is not of this current corrupted world. And one day God will do away with fallen creation, creating a new heaven and earth to be enjoyed by those who have trusted Christ. But God's kingdom is also a spiritual one, not merely a physical cleanup.

Jesus came to save Christians from sin and the coming condemnation of the fallen world; He did not come to merely adjust the systems of the fallen world. Similarly, Neo wants to rescue humanity out of the Matrix into reality; he did not come to merely correct the systems of the false Matrix world. In this sense, Neo parallels the Christian type of Messiah.

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B. Cautions about comparing Neo to Christ

In a few aspects, Neo can be allegorized as a type of Christ. But not every part of Neo's journey should be adapted to fit this theme. For example, to propose that everything Neo does in the film is explicitly figurative of Christ then produces a crude Messiah who is initially clueless, is a criminal (hacker), is tortured by the enemy, needs to be saved, must be trained by his own disciples, has a girlfriend, and likes to curse - a sacrilegious set of suggestions, to say the least. Neo is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of the Christian Messiah; instead, there are simply parts of the fiction that can be paralleled to the life of Christ if we strongly filter the material.

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