Finally, a movie that has it all! Its been a long time since I saw a movie this good. Obviously,Avengers is an action packed flick with loads of special effects and crazy combat scenes. But its more than just an explosion fest to herald in the epic summer movie season. This movie actually has substance. The dialogue is great and the movie touches on some great themes such as the strength of teamwork and the question of what makes a true hero. Be warned, there is some swearing and obviously violence, but nothing over the top. I highly recommend it and give it two thumbs up!
To a terrified and cowering crowd he says, “Kneel before me. I said... KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It's the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life's joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel."
What a madman! What a nightmare it would be to live under a powerful and evil dictator who took all of your freedom. It would be better to die than surrender and serve such a man. Some brave men and women in the crowd agree. And, more importantly, so do the Avengers!
But is he right? Is there truth in Loki's twisted words? Is kneeling simpler than trying to rule our own lives? Is obedience and service our natural state? Does living our lives freely for ourselves just rob us of joy? Were we made to be ruled? Will we all just end up kneeling in the end?
If you're familiar with the Bible, you may see where I'm going with this. You see, I think Loki is on to something. We weren't made to be ruled by him, but we were made to be ruled. And that's how it will be in the end.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -- Philippians 2:9-11
In the end, every single one of us will stand before God who took on flesh. Jesus, in all His glory, will judge us as King of kings and Lord of lords. We will all bow to Him and confess that He is the boss. We were created to serve God and worship Him. Loki was right. We were made to kneel and be ruled.
But the great news is that the One we were made to serve is nothing like Loki! In the Avengers, Loki is an evil and selfish man who would use and abuse his subjects and usher in an age of despair for all of mankind. But take a look at the picture the Bible paints when Jesus returns to earth to rule from His throne.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." -- Revelation 21:3-4
Jesus is not some terrible dictator. He is a loving Servant-King. He is the King who died to make His enemies into His friends. He is the King whose own blood makes forgiveness possible. He is the King who would humble Himself to be called our friend. Under His rule and His rule alone, there is peace and joy.
Its interesting how true Loki's words are. Each and every one of us will serve someone or something. He got it right, it really is in our nature. The question is who or what will we serve with our lives? Any answer other than Jesus is sin and leaves us with empty hope and certain death. But when we make Jesus our master and choose to serve Him, we are made holy and receive life.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. -- Romans 6:20-22
When we spend our freedom on ourselves and chase after our happiness, we don't find real joy. We can chase power, money, sex, pleasure, love, popularity, or anything else this world has to offer. In the end, we will be left empty. Its only when we surrender our freedom to Jesus that we will be free to live lives of joy and happiness. Its a beautiful paradox. We were made to be ruled by Jesus and in serving Him we find our truest joy. That's why the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is all about how good it is to obey God.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. -- Psalms 119:16
Marvel, Joss Whedon, the Avengers, and Loki may not have realized the truth they were stumbling across here. But it is a glorious truth. We are most free when we are ruled by Jesus.
- Don't forget to vote for the next Apparent Contradiction for me to tackle on Tuesday.
- Have you ever surrendered control of your life over to Jesus and accepted Him as Lord? If not, today can be the day. If you're not sure how, call a pastor, a Christian friend, or shoot me a message. We'd love to help you take that step of faith!
- Think of a time when living for yourself left you unhappy.
- Think of a time when obeying Jesus was difficult but left you with peace and joy.
- In what ways are you trying to live for yourself and your own desires?
- In what ways have you been ignoring the commands of King Jesus?