Take 2: The Matrix – Reborn

Part 3: Reborn

Neo is reborn. He wakes in a slimy soup of an unknown substance with plugs all over his body. He looks over the edge of this “bath” that he’s in and discovers that his bath is one of thousands, perhaps millions. But the others in the surrounding baths are still asleep. Ephesians 5:14 says awake from your sleep, rise from the dead and Christ will show you the light. Related to today’s term Stay Woke, this imagery of awakening from sleep is a symbol of becoming aware of the truth. Those who are still “sleeping” are unaware and tend to believe whatever is fed to them without question. They are the blind followers of man who flow with the “doctrine of the day” (Eph. 4:11-14).

Suddenly, Neo is flushed down a drain and recovered by Morpheus’ ship. The first words Neo hears from Morpheus are, “Welcome to the real world.” Once in their care, Neo enters a kind of rehab. His muscles are being stimulated because they have atrophied. While he recuperates, Neo wants to know if he’s dead; however, he’s never been more alive. He asks Morpheus why his eyes hurt. “Because you’ve never used them before,” Morpheus responds. Morpheus takes Neo to the main deck of his ship named Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was a well-respected king in the Old Testament. He had fallen, but was restored back to his excellency (Book of Daniel), just as Christ restores us back to Him (Romans 11:11-24). The “make and model” of the ship is Mark III No. 11. Mark 3:11 states that when unclean spirits saw Jesus, they cried out saying, “You are the Son of God.” Mark 3:11 is important in this moment because it is another occasion of Neo’s true identity being revealed. Also, Neo is on display as he meets the crew. Although he’s the one learning names and faces, he is almost being introduced as the Savior, the Son of God … Jesus; and everyone knows it. There are 7 members in Morpheus’ crew: Tank, Dozer, Trinity, Apoc, Switch, Mouse and Cypher, who later becomes a betrayer, making him the “Judas” of the group. The number 7 represents completion. But Neo makes number 8, and 8 represents a new beginning. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation and old things have passed away (2 Cor. 5:17).

Neo and Morpheus have some alone time as Morpheus explains what is “real.” He gives Neo a lesson in recent history and shows him what the world actually looks like in the present day. As humans marveled in their own brilliance (2 Tim. 3:1-5), they gave birth to a race of artificial intelligence. A.I. took over and enslaved the humans. We have been at war with the Matrix ever since. This truth is too much for Neo to bare. He freaks out to the point of vomiting, and then passing out. Once the truth of God, the devil and our role in this world is revealed to us, it can be a bit mind-boggling at first. We don’t necessarily regurgitate, but we are left with numerous questions and not enough immediate answers. Our world view is forever changed.

Once Neo is calm, Morpheus comes to speak with him. He confesses that once the mind has reached a certain maturity, it cannot be released back into the Matrix. It’s like many of us who have walked with Christ for a while. Even if we wanted to return to a life without Him, we almost couldn’t. Obviously, we’ve been given free will, but it is hard for a person who has truly walked with Christ and experienced His power, love and grace to go back to a life without that. This is why I strongly believe that those who have “left the faith” or are “enemies of God” never really knew Him in the first place. Morpheus explains that when the Matrix was first built there was a man born inside that could remake the Matrix as he saw fit. This man was the one who freed the first group and taught them the truth. Morpheus was a part of that group. Once that man died, the Oracle prophesied his return (Matt. 24:27). Morpheus has spent his life searching for “the One” who would destroy the Matrix and free all people. And Morpheus believes that the search is over. Neo is stunned that Morpheus believes he is the One.

Neo begins his training with Tank and learns about Zion. In the Bible (2 Sam. 5:7), Zion is the first city of King David, a superstar amongst biblical figures; and, in the film, Zion is the only city comprised entirely of freed humans. Tank expresses his excitement about Neo possibly being the Savior. He’s more than grateful to be alive during this time. Once Jesus’ disciples learned of who He was (Matt. 16:13-19), I’m sure they were pretty fortunate to be alive in their generation also. Neo is a machine during his training, but when Morpheus challenges him, Neo is unable to champion over him. Why? Neo has learned the technicalities of what it takes to win a fight, but he is lacking in practical application. Neo was thinking too much. He was too deep in his own head. Morpheus tells him that he has what it takes to win. But Neo can’t just think it, he has to know it. Morpheus is challenging Neo to free his mind and let go of every limitation: fear, doubt and disbelief (2 Tim. 1:7). Christians have to let it all go and truly be free in Christ (2 Cor. 3:17, Mark 11:23). Any one of us can read the Word, but walking it out is a whole different ballgame. It’s the difference between being told that the Word is true and knowing that it is. Knowing is our faith activated (James 2:14-18). During the required Jump Program, Neo hears Morpheus’ words about freeing the mind and letting go of his limitations, but Neo cannot let go and he fails the program. Instead of relying on God, we often lean on our self-effort, which keeps us from seeing God’s full potential in our lives (Prov. 3:5-6). Neo is forgiven for his shortcomings, but he needs more training before he’s ready. It is okay if we fail some of the tests of life, but if we ever want to live a full Christian life, we must overcome our human limitations and trust God fully.

Morpheus tells Neo that every person that has been in his position has died. But where they failed, Neo will succeed because he is the One. The ultimate battle between Neo and the agents, who are the gatekeepers of the Matrix, is looming. Morpheus believes the battle will present Neo as a champion because the agents still operate in a world that is based on rules and limitations. Freedom trumps rules any day, just as freedom in Christ is superior to Old Testament laws. I encourage you to see my posts on the Book of Romans in order to fully understand grace and freedom vs. the law and bondage. Neo is ready to see the Oracle.

Kirby N. McKinney

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