Letter 13: Movies & the Gospel

 

My Son,

 

The Gospel can be seen nearly everywhere if your eyes are looking for it. Watching movies is one of my favorite ways to see the Gospel. I especially enjoy it when the movie does not intend to communicate the Gospel, but it’s clear nonetheless. One example would be in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows pt. 2 where Harry literally offers to sacrifice himself so that his friends would be saved. He subsequently rises from the dead and conquers his enemy. Another example would be the movie Elysium, where Matt Damon can choose to save himself or sacrifice himself so that the poor people on earth can have healthcare. He ends up choosing to die so that others may live. There is quite a bit of bad language in that movie, so I highly doubt the screenwriters and director intended to communicate the Gospel to their viewers, but the Gospel was even more explicit than the language. I just love flipping the secular culture’s intentions against itself.

The truth of the matter is that every good story has the Gospel at its center. Love expressed through sacrifice is at the heart of the Gospel. It is this sacrificial love that our human hearts are drawn to and made for. Not even our secular culture can deny this reality of love that is so vital to the human identity. For these reasons, the Gospel can be seen even in the least likely of places. If the story is truly good, then you will truly see the Gospel: “For the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:9).

Before watching your next movie, pray that God would allow you to get a fresh revelation of the Gospel through the movie. If you can’t pray that prayer because you’re ashamed that the movie you’re watching is too dirty, then you probably should not watch that movie. Yet even in movies you would not expect to see the Gospel, you should ask God to show it to you and then look for it. If the movie is truly good, you will see Jesus in it. Seek the Gospel and you will find the Gospel.

 

Love,

Dad

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