One of the great films of 1999 was The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves. It’s a futuristic sci-fi movie, where the world has been taken over by computers. The computers need the energy that comes from human bodies, so they keep a supply of genetically engineered humans in a permanently anaesthetized state. They then create an imaginary world for these comatose humans, The Matrix, in which people think themselves alive and conscious, going to work, living normal everyday lives. The Matrix is the world that has been literally over everyone’s eyes to blind them from the truth, a world that keeps them in bondage to acceptance of the way things are.
But there is a group of rebels who have broken free of the Matrix. Led by Morpheus they lead a shadow life committed to an alternate reality and hunted by cybercops. Then they discover Keanu Reeves character, Neo, the prophesied One who will break people free from the Matrix.
Early in the film we find Neo awakening to the truth. Part of the Matrix, the computer created illusion, he experiences unexplainable doubts about the ways things are, doubts which act like a splinter in his mind, making him feel uncomfortable. Then he is introduced to the rebels, led by Morpheus. Morpheus offers Neo a chance to see the truth. He holds out two pills. The blue pill is a pleasant analgesic which will blur over the pain his honest enquiry is creating. Swallow the blue pill and he’ll be comfortably back in the Matrix. Or he can take the red pill, which will open his eyes to see new possibilities, to carve out a place in the alternate reality.
At the heart of the gospel is the idea that we are all caught in The Matrix, in a false view of reality. We fail to see the world as it truly is, fail to see it as God sees it Jesus calls us to a new way of seeing reality, to swallow his red pill rather than society’s blue pill, and to forever be changed.
John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
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