The Matrix as Messiah Movie

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?

B. THE PARABLE

1. TRACKING: Confusion, Contact, and Conviction

1c. Office

KEY:
M = The Matrix Story
S = Spiritual Parallels

 

M. Thomas works for Metacortex, which is also spelled Meta Cortechs inside the building.
S. This company name describes the powerful fallen world system that grips Thomas. The prefix 'meta' can mean 'situated behind', and 'cortex' can refer to the cerebral cortex of the brain. Thus 'Metacortex' can mean, "we are the ones behind the scenes, who control your mind". Given the alternate spelling of 'corTECHS', and noting that 'techs' is slang for 'technicians', the name also carries the idea that "we 'work' on your head, to shape your thinking as we wish." As Morpheus later explains, people are indeed born into bondage to a fallen world system that bombards the mind with fallen thinking.
M. Thomas is late for work. Mr. Rhineheart reprimands Thomas, whose voice is hollow as he agrees. Even though Mr. Rhineheart is correct, he seems unbending as he demands flawless obedience.
S. Work at Metacortex represents the state of bondage of sinful man to a fallen world as he tries to work his way to heaven. The law is not in Neo's heart, and he has found himself lacking ability to comply. He is depressed and motionless in his cubicle afterward.
Man will fall short of perfectly obeying God's standards of right and wrong, and will become depressed in the constant failure to comply. The Bible says that these standards are good (it is not wrong that Thomas must have a job, or that Rhineheart want Thomas to be on time), but God's standards are designed to show us our inability to hit the mark. God's standards are an unbending 'teacher' that makes us to realize we need to be saved from our flawed nature, leading us to the Savior, Jesus Christ. When a person is saved by faith in Christ, God considers sin forgiven, then He 'writes His law on the heart' of that person, giving him a new, constant spiritual desire to do what is right - and a joy in doing it.
M. Now we will reverse the allegory and let Mr. Rhineheart represent the fallen world system. Rhineheart reprimands Thomas, saying, "This company is one of the TOP software companies in the WORLD because every single employee understands that they are part of a WHOLE…The time has come to make a CHOICE…"
S. The words 'TOP' and 'WORLD' are significant, indicating the pinnacle strength of the fallen world system. Like the nerve-wracking squeegees, the fallen world chafes the lost person, yet he is caught in the pull of that dead world to conform to the dying 'WHOLE'. Rhinehart calls Thomas 'Mr. Anderson' twice, using his Matrix identity to reinforce his belonging to the world system. A 'CHOICE' must be made toward either accepting captivity to the lost world or taking that narrow path to Freedom…
M. Window washers maddeningly squeak their squeegees as Mr. Rhineheart reprimands Thomas.
S. Notice that when Thomas/Neo is later 'flushed' out of his womb-pod in the 'power plant', his hands scrape along the sides and make this same sound! Perhaps the sounds of the window washers are linked to an unhappy Thomas reflexively scraping against the sides of his pod in the power plant at the same time as he is being reprimanded? This irritating sensation reinforces that Thomas is a tormented prisoner of the world system.
M. A dejected Thomas Anderson sits motionless in the dim bleakness of his lifeless cubicle. Even his computer screen is dead.
S. What a striking visual metaphor for how empty life is without Truth! Careers, money, information, etc. – these are pathetically powerless to fill the void of a human heart without God. As his conscience bears witness that something vital is missing, the lost person often begins to despair of all other aspects of life; nothing has meaning or vibrancy.
M. The Fed Ex man says, "Mr. Anderson?" Thomas accepts the illusionary identity by saying, "Yeah, that's me."
S. (See prior comments about this from the first apartment scene.)
M: Via cell phone, Morpheus prompts, "Hello, Neo. Do you know who this is?" Neo replies, "Morpheus!"
S: (See prior comments about these promptings from the dance club segment.)
M. Morpheus says, "They're coming for you, Neo…" Thomas asks, "Who's coming for me?" to which Morpheus replies, "Stand up and see for yourself." "What…right now?" asks Thomas. Morpheus replies, "Yes. Now." Thomas stands, and for the first time, he sees enemy Agents and policemen entering his office to catch him.
S. God helps the lost person to see his own sin and sense the spiritual enemy that craves his death. As God warned Cain in Genesis 4:7, "sin is crouching at the door [like the Agents entering the office] and its desire is to have you…" Morpheus' response of "now" stresses the urgency of the situation. We do not casually decide when to grapple with evil – it is a predator that eventually strikes its final deathblow. We must escape while God gives us opportunity. "Behold, now is the day of salvation…" (2 Corinthians 6:2). "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).
M. Neo asks frantically: "What the hell do they want from me?"
S. Nice pun. "Hell" is exactly what Satan wants for every lost person.
M. Morpheus offers Thomas a way out – yet another series of one-way choices! Morpheus warns, "I can guide you – but you must do exactly as I say."
S. For the sinner, there is no alternative – exact adherence to God's way of salvation, or face the consequences. God will provide "the way of escape" (1 Corinthians 10:12).
M. As Morpheus guides Thomas to the office with the 'window of opportunity', Thomas asks, "How do you know all this?" Morpheus responds, "We don't have time, Neo…"
S. A lost person could never understand God anyway; he has not yet become new and he does not have spiritual understanding. Sin cannot comprehend holiness, nor can deception grasp all truth. Thomas' query is the lost man's resistance to faith – he wants to know ALL the answers before making a decision. But God urgently pleads, "You are drowning! First take My hand and let Me lift you up – I can describe My ship to you later!" On another note, Morpheus describing each step in advance once again symbolizes God's omniscience.
M. In one of the most symbolic choices of the story, Morpheus tells Thomas, "There are two ways out of this building. One is that scaffold. The other is in their custody."
S. The Metacortex building represents the fallen world in concise form. The scaffold can hint at the cross of Christ. The scaffold goes up, symbolizing going to God. In the custody of the Agents means going down – notice that they leave with Thomas on the bottom floor of the building. Think of heavenward as up, hellward as down. The lost man finds that he truly has no neutral ground! In his pride, he fancies himself having many choices and plenty of time. But in truth, he can only be on one of two paths – heaven or hell, with the default path of no resistance being hell.
M. Morpheus tells Thomas, "you take a chance either way."
S. It takes faith to trust in God. It also takes faith not to.
M. Thomas responds to Morpheus: "No way. No way! This is crazy. …This is insane."
S. To a man who has only paid attention to his mortal life, the sudden realization of eternity in heaven or hell shakes him. There is nothing he can do to earn his own salvation except to trust in God's way out. And that way is by faith in Christ, which is difficult for the natural man to accept, especially as it is not dependent on his own good works.
M. Thomas mutters in frustration, "What did I do? I didn't do anything. I'm nobody…"
S. Thomas lies to himself. He committed many crimes; he is a hacker! Thomas is a lawbreaker who does not want to follow rules or face consequences for his wrong actions. But the unbending truth is that there is no neutral ground for the sinner. Thomas says he is 'nobody' as another excuse. But again, no lack or excess of a person's social status, age, achievements, identity, etc. remove the fact that he is caught between heaven and hell and is still personally accountable for a choice between them. There are no 'nobodies' to God and Satan.
M. Thomas begins to inch his way along the narrow path of the ledge toward the scaffold. But then he takes his eyes away and looks at the street far below. Gasping in fear, he drops the cell phone and says, "I can't do this." Fear cripples him, and he the enemy captures him as a result.
S. In addition to the 'Doubting Thomas' theme, this metaphor reminds us of the apostle Peter trying to walk on water to come to Christ. As long as Peter's eyes were fixed on Christ, he was able to continue. But "seeing the wind" (Matthew 14:30) - meaning he was no longer looking at Christ - Peter became afraid and started to sink. Christ reached out and rescued him, just as we will see Morpheus 'reach out' by telephone to contact Thomas again. Dropping the cell phone represents both Peter losing his fix on Christ, and also the lost man abandoning his communication with God as his Way of salvation. The narrow ledge illustrates that "the way is narrow that leads to life" (Matthew 7:14). Thomas had no alternatives. Either he climbed the scaffold, or he was captured. Thomas could not have infinite chances to make his escape, nor could he simply stroll back to his cubicle and pretend his crisis of destiny did not exist. Like it or not, we all face that crisis and must choose before our time is up.
When Thomas says, "I can't do this," he reiterates that a lost man cannot save himself. That is why God had to do the work for him on the cross. In the Bible, Peter asked, "then who can be saved?" to which Jesus answered, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26).

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