Jack is Jesus.

I thought the “Lost” Finale was brilliant.  In a way it reminded me of Harry Potter: Through both series, there are vague but interesting nods to spiritual themes in general.  But at the end of both series, it seems hard to deny that the heroes of both series are Christ figures.

Through the entire end of the episode, Jack was dying from a wound in his side; he had blood on his hands, and there’s even a shot where they show he’s got a wound in his feet.

Before he dies, Jack passes his mission on to Hurley.  And he does it by passing a cup to Hurley.  On one level, the cup is filled with nothing special.  Jack had reached down with a water bottle and filled it with muddy water.  But on the other level, there is clearly something supernatural going on.  What a great, last supper moment.

Jack being lowered down in one way was about Christ’s decent into Hell.  But when Jack is lowered down there, he makes a trade.  The fate that Desmond was meant to experience — death– is one he takes on for himself.

When Jack enters the church, he is reunited with his father, just as Jesus was reunited with his own father after his own death.  In that very episode, people smirked a little at the fact that Jack’s dad was named, of all things, Christian Shephard.  In this episode, the name goes from being ironic to symbolic.

Christian explains that none of the “Lost” people could move on to the eternal destiny they were waiting for until Jack arrived.  They spent a moment, being reunited with each other…. and then they walked out, into what must have been some sort of heaven.

The episode did leave… room for interpretation.  I don’t have any doubt about the symbolism, but I think what actually happened is a little more open for debate.  (What an interesting switch: usually stories leave room for argument around the symbolism and are more clear on the literal level.)

I’ve got some ideas about that.  But they will have to wait.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “Jack is Jesus.”

  1. I thought they might be making this parallel, but as detailed as you want to interpret insignificant things about Jack, one glaring, obvious characteristic about him is that he was clearly a man and a sinful one at that. Christ came to earth to be a man, the God man. He took on all human characteristics, but not sinfulness. That is the key thing that qualifies Him to be Savior. I enjoyed this show very much. I liked the spiritual tones, but we must be careful when dealing with representing Christ.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the thoughts, Forrest.

    Though Christ/Messianic figures are pretty common in literature, I think it’d be challenging to find one that is potrayed as perfect or sinless.

    Sometimes, I think, this potrayal is theological or idealogically motivated. I think that the writers don’t want to be pegged as “One of those Christians.”
    Obviously, I disagree with this. Though I think that we Christ followers need to own some of the blame for earning a reputation that people feel they need to distance themselves from.

    The other motivation, though, is more aesthetic. I love Jesus and seek to follow him every day of my life. But it’s difficult to create compelling art where he’s a protagonist. His perfection makes it almost impossible to create any sort-of arc where he grows or learns something, because he is ultimately mature and already knows everything. His sinlessness makes it hard for we sinful people to relate to him, when he is a character in a work of fiction.

    I suppose what it comes down to is that it’s important to discern and discriminate between Christ-inspired art and theology which claims to actually represent truth.

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  3. And I was curious, Forrest, about your statement that I have interpreted “insignificant” things about Jack.
    I wonder if you’ve ever watched the episodes where the little pop-up captions appear, where the producers (or somebody involved with the show) explain all the stuff that’s going on.
    The attention to detail is mind-numbing, bordering on the absurd. It’s hard to imagine how somebody could catch many of these with out the little pop up captions.
    I would find many criticisms of the show legitimate. But the attention to details is unbelievable, on the show. I’d be interested to hear which you consider insignificant or accidental.

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