The Matrix as Messiah Movie

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?

B. THE PARABLE

1. TRACKING: Confusion, Contact, and Conviction

1f. A Visit With Morpheus

KEY:
M = The Matrix Story
S = Spiritual Parallels

 

M. As Thomas ascends the stairs to meet Morpheus, we notice the black and white tiled floor.
S. A lost man must make a black-and-white choice when he faces God. Light or darkness. Truth or lies. Faith or unbelief. Christ's love or God's wrath. Salvation or damnation. There is no neutral ground, no 'gray'.
M. Just outside Morpheus' door, Trinity advises Thomas: "Be honest. He knows more than you can imagine."
S. For this moment, Morpheus can represent God (after all, lightning flashes when he is introduced, and the chairs in his room do have lion's heads on them – grin.) In order to find truth, a man must be truthful with himself and God. "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him; to all who call upon Him in truth." (Psalm 145:18). The man who hides his sin will not find truth. (Psalm 66:18) Salvation involves being transparent with God and being brutally honest about your condition. (In my case, it felt like swallowing an apple whole. Some truth hurts.)
M. Morpheus tells Thomas, "You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth."
S. Being 'awake' is a scriptural metaphor for being saved; being 'asleep' is a metaphor for being lost. (See the scene at Thomas' apartment for more.)
M. Morpheus tells Thomas, "Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know…feel…that there's something wrong with the world…like a splinter in your mind..."
S. A lost man nearing salvation has become aware of sin in self and the world.
M. Morpheus prompts Thomas to verbalize his convictions. "Do you know what I'm talking about?" asks Morpheus. "The Matrix." Thomas answers.
S. (See the prior 'dance club' segment about promptings to verbalize convictions.)
M. Morpheus confirms the existence of the Matrix, and directly offers to show Neo what it is.
S. At some point, the seeker finds the direct source of an Answer – scripture, an 'evangelist', etc. – that confirms his convictions that there is indeed something wrong and offers the exact solution for coming to the Truth.
M. Morpheus describes the Matrix to Thomas. "It is everywhere" - outside, inside, in all walks of life. In one of the most scriptural statements of the film, Morpheus concludes that the Matrix "is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."
S. The Matrix is like the condemned world system that resulted from man's original sin. We are completely immersed in that world's secular flows – politics, materialism, entertainment, pop culture, etc. Just as the machines and Agents control the Matrix, Satan and the sinful state of man create and pollute the systems and values of the world. This fallen world saturates our senses and trumpets itself, saying that it is all there is, the here and now, the visible. It is a vast, busy lie that obscures and distracts from the truth of eternal spiritual things beyond.
M. "What truth?" asks Thomas. Morpheus then tells Thomas, "You are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage..."
S. Every human descended from Adam and Eve inherits a sinful nature (Romans 5:12-21). Because this nature is inherited, a human is considered sinful from the beginning of his life. As the Psalmist says, "I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:6). A lost man remains a "slave to sin" (Romans 5:17) until he is set free by faith in "Jesus, who gave Himself for our sins so He might rescue us from this present evil world…" (Galatians 1:4). A lost man is in bondage to the fallen world until he is reborn spiritually in Christ. "He that is born of God overcomes the world." (I John 4:5).
M. Morpheus introduces the final moment of truth. He says, "Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."
S. A saved person is a 'new creature' in God, with a living, fresh spirit from God. An 'old' creature cannot understand what being 'new' is until he actually becomes 'new'. It would be like trying to describe to a caterpillar how it is to be a butterfly. The only way the caterpillar could fully understand would be to enter a cocoon (similar to an 'old' creature being crucified, buried, and risen in Christ through faith) and exit a new and different creature.
It takes faith to cross this final gap. All of the tangible proofs in the world may point the way, but will not solve the problem, for the spiritual things are not tangible. Nobody can be saved just by listening to teaching about how to be saved, just as a sick person cannot be healed by only hearing about medicine. The only way to find the truth is to take a step of faith based on inward convictions and outward evidences.
Imagine the difficulty of describing chocolate ice cream to a child raised in a tent in the Sahara desert - a child who has perhaps never felt something cold, nor tasted chocolate! The child could see pictures, and hear testimony from multiple witnesses for years. This evidence might convict the child that ice cream is a good thing - but the only way to have that child fully understand would be for him to eat a sample! "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). Seeing requires tasting. (When I worked in impoverished areas in Haiti, we drove to the mountains one day and purchased chocolate ice cream - for ten dollars a half-gallon! The people tasted it for the first time and loved it!)
M. In a moment thick with tension, Morpheus warns Thomas, "This is your last chance."
S. Even though God is rich in patience and love, there will eventually come a last chance for every person. "The Lord is not slow about keeping His promise [to come again]…but He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the [judgment] Day of the Lord WILL come…" (2 Peter 3:4 and 9). "NOW is the day of salvation…" (2 Corinthians. 6:2) In His earthly ministry, Jesus warned the wicked leaders that he would not always be present at their convenience: "Jesus said, 'For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me, and will not find Me…" (John 7:33). "My Spirit will not strive with man forever…" (Genesis 6:3).
M. Morpheus offers the most important choice of all to Thomas by offering a blue pill in his left hand and a red pill in his right hand.
S. The red pill can represent the blood of Christ. This saving gift is freely offered by God to man, just as Morpheus offers it freely to Neo. The red pill is the 'right' way to go; thus it is in the 'right' hand while the blue pill is in the left. In another interesting parallel of right and left, Jesus described the final judgment at God's throne, where believers are put on the right side of God to be eternally blessed, and unbelievers are directed to the left side to be eternally punished (Matthew 25:31-46).
The blue pill has many metaphorical qualities to adapt. Deep blue can suggest nighttime and dreaming, indicating the 'sleep' of lies and illusion that is associated with being an unbeliever. Blue is darker than red, showing the contrast of light and darkness. There is the popular cliché of "having the blues" - in other words, experiencing sadness, depression, and heartache instead of happiness. The blue pill means illusion, darkness, and heartache.
M. "After this there is no turning back," says Morpheus. To take the blue pill means to "wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe." To take the red pill means to enter the Truth. As Morpheus says, "All I'm offering is the truth, nothing more…" As Morpheus will say twice later, "I can only show you the door – but you have to walk through it." Neo must now choose to act – to take a real action based on his convictions, and enter through that open 'door'. He must receive the gift that Morpheus offers - just looking at the red pill won't help.
S. This is the climactic all-essential 'step of faith' for the sinner (so it will also get a bit more explanation – it is the centerpiece of Christianity!) Scriptures and truthful people can point out the 'door' (Jesus said, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…" - John 10:9), but each person must then take action to enter that door in a personal transaction of faith between he and Christ. Simply understanding that the door is there does not mean a person has entered it. As scripture says (James 2:14), even Satan believes in God. So mere understanding alone is not enough to save, no more than understanding what medicine can do means you have taken it. There must be an act of trusting. Christ died to pay for our sins with his red blood (like the red pill); a person must make an act of trust in that atoning blood sacrifice to be freed from sin. "Righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe" (Romans 3:22). "…being justified through His blood" (Romans 5:8,9).
To take the blue pill means to remain in death, as Morpheus says, "the story ends". To "believe whatever you want to believe" saves nobody. A person may feel good as he deceives himself with comforting lies, or even challenging lies. But lies are lies, and there is only one Truth. Had Neo rejected that 'one way' to truth and taken the blue pill, he would have remained a slave of the Matrix no matter what else he believed, and eventually he would have died there. The unbelieving sinner will physically die in his sins also, but then suffer the "second death" (Revelation 20:14) in the eternal, fiery justice of God against sin, having rejected Christ's blood as a freely available payment for that sin penalty. "He who has the Son has the life, He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." (1 John 5:11-13). The one who "believes in the Son has eternal life", but the one who does not remains under the "wrath of God" (John 3:18, 36).
Many people allow pride to blind them to the costly Gift of love that God is offering them. Sadly, they angrily label God's wrath against their sin as "unfair", instead of focusing on the fact that God gave His Son's own life (what more could God have done?) to make a free, cleansing 'red pill' available to all takers. Those who hope to stand at judgment and accuse Christ of lacking love will be silenced simply by seeing the Judge's scarred hands – pierced in the ultimate, brutal sacrifice of His own life on a cross to offer them salvation by a simple act of faith in Him.
Which available pill are you focused on? The blue? Or the Red?

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