The Dark Knight Rises, He Is Risen Indeed: Thoughts On A Better Resurrection

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It’s almost Easter. So let’s talk about the Dark Knight Rises. I think it can help us understand a side of the resurrection that I’ve rarely heard talked about.

In the middle of the film Officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt; swoon ladies, swoon) asks Bruce Wayne about why he would wear a mask as Batman. Bruce tells him it’s to protect the people closest to him but then he hits on something that stuck with me more than anything in the film.

Bruce Wayne: The idea was to be a symbol. Batman could be anybody. That was the point.
Blake: Well, it’s damn good to see him back.
Bruce Wayne: Not everybody agrees.
Blake: They’ll figure that out in the end.

The idea of the Batman was never supposed to be idolatry of Batman. The Batman was supposed to only serve as a catalyst to spur everyone else into actually making a difference.

I believe some people have made the same mistake with Jesus’ resurrection. It’s one thing to say you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s another thing to actually live out the resurrection; to be the resurrection.

Even before Jesus died he expected his followers to do more than just intellectually affirm him. He says in John 14:12:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

So the point of everything he was doing was not so that we can idolize him and talk about how great it is, but so that we can be pushed to do more. There are so many ways to honor Christ and this is one of those ways. So believing in this Christ is so much more radical than simply “confessing with your mouth and believing with your heart that he is Lord”. It goes farther than that.

1 John 4:12 says:

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

This type of belief in Christ requires action. It requires love; and without love, there is no God being brought to full expression because love is the only way to make that happen.

There’s a scene near the end of the gospel of John where Jesus is hanging on the cross and his mother and the disciple, John are standing near him. He says to his mother, “Dear, woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And it says that John took her into his home from that time on. I believe this was Jesus doing the same thing I’ve been talking about. This was his mother and the disciple he loved the most standing here so both of them held Jesus closer than any of us. But Jesus is having them let go of him and turn to each other. He’s telling his mother “You were a mother to me while I was here but now you are a mother to him.” And he’s telling his disciple, “You served me while I was here but now you will serve her.” He was telling them “Let me go now, and go live out what I am.”

Interestingly, Batman has a very similar interaction with Commissioner Gordon before his sacrifice near the end of The Dark Knight Rises.

Commissioner Gordon: I never cared who you were.
Bruce Wayne: And you were right.
Commissioner Gordon: But shouldn’t the people know the hero who saved them?
Bruce Wayne: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders, to let him know the world hadn’t ended.

The Resurrection of Jesus serves as a symbol for us, telling us “Anybody can do this. Anyone can do what I do, in bringing God into full expression through love. Even a mother, even a disciple, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders, to let him know the world hasn’t ended.” We live out the resurrection by bringing God into full expression through acts of love.

And this is what this world needs. We saw that even in the midnight premiere of the Dark Knight Rises with the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colorado. This world needs people willing to live out the resurrection in a radical way, even when there are people who disagree. But Bruce Wayne and Officer Blake address that as well:

Blake: Well, it’s damn good to see him back.
Bruce Wayne: Not everybody agrees.
Blake: They’ll figure that out in the end.

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88 Comments

  1. As a pastor, I have preached the concept of living the resurrection today many times (every Easter since I’ve been preaching on Easter Sunday). As a Batman fan, I see the link you are making. Nice job.

    Reply
  2. Dillon

     /  April 7, 2013

    Reblogged this on Apologetics & Theology for the Rest of Us and commented:
    Definitely worth a read!

    Reply
  3. Interesting how after 2000 years we still have such a filmic dialogue of the event. John Wayne as a Roman centurion in ‘The Greatest Story ever told’ witnessing the crucifixion declares “this indeed was the son of god” presumably this is also accurate.

    Reply
  4. Absolutely!

    Reply
  5. Amazing post tying these together.

    Reply
  6. Great post! Living out what Jesus has called us to do starts with Luke 9:23. Deny, die and follow. We are great at doing the “follow” part but Jesus doesn’t give us an option. This isn’t mupltiple choice. IF we don’t deny ourselves and IF we don’t die to self, then we can’t follow, truly follow. Jesus says so. But we don’t like that part….we want to love and care and give to good causes, when all along, it’s starts with “He must increase, I must decrease.” But sacrificing self hurts and usually screams bloody murder when told to shut up and die. Just turn off your tv (or computer) for a day or week or month….and find out just how much self runs the show and that dying to self and denying self is the hardest thing Jesus ever told us to do. But it’s a prerequisite to following Him, not optional.
    I guess Bruce Wayne got some of that denial thing right but for the wrong reasons….I Cor. 13 makes that clear.

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    Reply
  7. This is a great post

    Reply
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  9. Reblogged this on Modus Getar and commented:
    It’s almost Easter. So let’s talk about the Dark Knight Rises. I think it can help us understand a side of the resurrection that I’ve rarely heard talked about.

    Reply
  10. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back in the future. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice morning!

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  11. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    Reply
    • I’ll just imagine the greatest compliment ever heard in history. Thanks man!

      Reply
    • This is happening to me on a blog here and there. Later it is a different blog. Like move around. I have started copy and pasting on notepad and coming back to comment when the not letting the comment post moves on to another blog. this give me hope that it is not just happening to me.

      Reply
  12. Johne859

     /  August 18, 2014

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  1. The Dark Knight Rises: Resurrection | Apologetics & Theology for the Rest of Us
  2. The Dark Knight Rises, He Is Risen Indeed: Thoughts On A Better Resurrection | queenofthewildfrontier

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