Last week was the release of James Cameron’s newest box office hit Avatar: The Extended Edition. In preparation for the event, my church decided to have a movie night dedicated to the film. We would watch the movie then have a discussion based on some of the biblical themes drawn from the film. The film itself is stunning with special effects and graphics that had me struggling to keep my chin off the floor the first time I saw it. Aside from the special effects, one of the central themes to the movie is the story of Sam Worthington’s character, Jake Sully.
Before meeting Jesus, Paul was one of the Pharisees; a religious group in the New Testament that meticulously followed all of the Jewish laws in addition to a series of their own laws. Because he was a Pharisee, Paul took great pride in the things that made him a Pharisee. Things like being circumcised as a child. Having been born with a lineage that traces back to the Tribe of Benjamin gave him s sense of entitlement that others did not have. And in Phil 3:6 he says he was the strictest Pharisee ever known. That is, until he met Christ. After his encounter with Jesus (see Acts 9:1-19), he writes in Philippians 3:8 that all he once held dear is now considered worthless. Nothing can compare to knowing Christ. Now, Paul’s top priority is seeking unity with the father and becoming one with Christ.
In the beginning of Avatar we learn Jake longs to regain the use of his legs. As the movie progresses, we see that Jake desires change. Like the apostle Paul, Jake now craves the life he lives on Pandora and yearns to become one with Eywa. Consequently Jake begins to question the true value and worth of his mobility.