Welcome to "The Matrix" (Video)
"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
-"Morpheus", from the 1999 Hollywood blockbuster film, "The Matrix"
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”
- 2 Corinthians 4:4
The Bible Vs. The Matrix
The main character, Neo, is a matrix-bound human who knows that something is not right with the world he lives in, and is eager to learn the truth. He is offered the truth from a character named Morpheus, who proclaims that Neo is “the One” (chosen one) who will eventually destroy the Matrix, thereby setting the humans “free.” For this to happen, Neo must first overcome the Sentient Program agents who can jump into anyone's digital body. They are the Gate Keepers and hold the keys to The Matrix.
Our other work for comparison is the Bible.
Briefly summarized, the Bible’s message is truth about this world we live in. We are told our world is controlled by evil powers in high, spiritual places; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). However, the earth and the universe were created by God; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The world system was created by man, but inspired by Satan; “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
This world is full of deception and contains every imaginable lie in the form of philosophies and religions, but persecutes the truth. The people who trust in the world are not willing to be “unplugged” in order to see the truth, and the truth is revealed to those who are searching for it. Most people live out their daily lives oblivious to the fact that there is a God, and that He created a perfect world called heaven.
The Bible tells us that we cannot love the world and love God at the same time, so we all have a choice. Do we want the truth or do we want to continue living a lie? In the Gospel, we find that the main character is God and that Jesus is the son of God who came into this world and altered this reality with countless miracles.
He is the chosen one from God. He came to free man from bondage to sin, and slavery to this world, and ultimately to deliver us out of this present darkness and into His glorious light. To analyze the parallels, we will begin with the main characters of the Matrix. Each one represents a character in The Bible.
• Morpheus represents John the Baptist whose mission was to proclaim the "chosen one." • Neo represents the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
• The Oracle represents a prophet.
• The Sentient Program agents, or gatekeepers, are like the demons that hold the keys to our world. They have the ability to jump into people and use them at will, just like Satan’s demons can enter people who are open to them.
• Cypher represents Judas Iscariot. He was a human who was possessed by an agent and chose to go back into the Matrix and betray his friends. He was promised wealth and a measure of fame; instead he was killed. The name may be derived from Caiphus the high priest blamed by history for manipulating Pontious Pilate to kill Christ. It could also be a play on the word “Lucifer.” Judas, betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, but later committed suicide so didn’t get to enjoy the money. There are many, many other biblical correlations in the Matrix:
• Neo's original name was Thomas Anderson and this reflects his unbelief. At first Neo refuses to believe the truth, just like the biblical character “doubting Thomas” who needed to see to believe. Anderson means “son of man,” so he is a doubting son of man. His name is later changed to Neo, which means “new” or “one.” He is often called “the One” in the movie, just as Jesus was the chosen One of God.
• Near the beginning, Neo is told to meet Morpheus under "Adam Bridge." On the way, Neo has the choice to leave them or to continue. Trinity tells Neo that she knows that he no longer wants to go down that road, as he knows where it leads. The road represents his old life. Instead, he chooses the new life by remaining in the car and not going back to Adam Bridge. This reflects the biblical truth that we must leave our old lives and choose a new life in God through Jesus Christ. Had Neo chosen to leave at that point, he would have gone back to his old life by simply getting out of the car.
• One of the characters, Tank, is “a Child of Zion.” Zion is the only city that the humans have left, and the only city where humans are free. In the Bible, Zion is the City of David; the city which God loved and showed His favor to. • Near the end, the Agents are trying to get into Morpheus' head to extract the information and codes to the Zion mainframe. This is similar to the fact that all those who belong to God are children of Zion, and Jesus has put the Kingdom of God within us. The Bible says that Jesus has also given us the “keys to the kingdom” (Matthew 16:19). The secrets to the Kingdom of God are inside every child of God. • Morpheus explained that when the Matrix was first built, there was man born inside who could change and shape the Matrix at will. He freed the first of “us.” The Oracle prophesied his return, and when he returns he will hail the destruction of the Matrix. This represents Jesus’ mission because He was born into the world and performed many miracles (shaping reality), and then died and rose from the dead, so that He could free all humanity.
• It is prophesied that Jesus will return as king and destroy the present world system and bring the world under His rule. When Neo finally meets the Oracle, she asks Neo if he is “The One” and she eventually tells him that he looks like he is waiting for something and prophetically tells him it is “your next life.” This also demonstrates that we all need to accept the new life that God offers all of us.
• In the end Neo dies, but comes back, and is able to defeat the Matrix in his new life. Likewise the Bible tells us that we, too, can overcome this world when we die to sin and live unto Christ who is our new life. We cannot defeat the “world” and the evil one unless we receive new life in God through faith.
• The scriptures say that we must die to ourselves and live unto Christ, because Christ died to give us life and victory. And so it is in the Matrix, Neo dies and from that point on, he hails the destruction of the Matrix.
• Neo had a choice of the red pill or the blue pill. We too have this choice. Do we want to know the Truth (the red pill) or do we just want to forget about it, wake up, and believe whatever we want to believe (the blue pill).
• The color red is also significant as it represents suffering or blood. Jesus shed His blood for us on the cross. It is also interesting to note that many Bibles put the words of Jesus in red and we must remember Jesus words, “I am the Way the Truth the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me.”
• We must realize that the truth is not the easy way, and there is a measure of persecution for those who want the truth, just as the agents in the Matrix relentlessly pursued and tried to kill those who were free from the Matrix. The truth sets us free from our bondage to sin and slavery to this world and wakes us up to the deception and lies that are all around us. Although, the truth is not the easy way, it is better than living a lie. In the long term it leads to total freedom and eternal life with God, who is love.
• The characters in the Matrix show their disgust at Cypher who wants to be returned to the Matrix. Morpheus even says to Neo at one point, “If you could return to the Matrix, would you want to?” This is a fitting description of how sickened God is when a believer returns to the world after being set free; “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit . . .’” ( 2 Peter 2:21-22).
• The software training programs in the movie represent the Word of God and the Scriptures that teach and train us for the battle between light and darkness.
• The jumping program where Morpheus teaches Neo to jump from one building to another mirrors the experience where Peter walks on water, but, because of fear and lack of faith, Peter falls into the water and Jesus reaches out His hand to save him. In the movie Neo also falls when he attempts his first jump from one building to the next. It’s all about faith for him, too.
• In the movie, The Matrix is the world that is “pulled over people’s eyes,” so they cannot see the truth. The world we live in is also full of the deception Satan pulls over our eyes. It blinds us from the truth that there is a Kingdom far greater than this present world, and that that kingdom belongs to God who created us. That is why we must have faith and see with our spirits rather than our physical eyes. The Bible says that this world is our enemy and it caters to the sinful desires of men. We must overcome it. The Bible also says that the world and all visible things are temporary but the truth is eternal. This world is trying to hide the truth from us.
• The scriptures tell us that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but rather spiritual powers. This mirrors the part in the Matrix when it would have been pointless for Neo to fight those bound in the Matrix to destroy the Matrix. The scriptures tell us that we need to fight the spiritual powers that bind people and not the people themselves, so that the people can be set free.
So, the question is; “Does the Matrix preach the Gospel?” “Is it the Gospel on steroids?” It's a matter of opinion, but remember, the rules (or laws) of The Matrix can be broken in the same way that the laws of the physical realm can be broken if we live in the spiritual realm. We can walk on water, raise the dead, heal the sick . . . only if we know the Chosen One, Jesus.