The Gospel of Cooper

September 12, 2016

I am convinced that if you look hard enough, you can find a Gospel story woven into every movie.  Maybe when I get around to watching Sharknado 4, I’ll prove it.

For now, I want to take aim at an easier target: Interstellar.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Interstellar but plan to, please don’t continue reading this post because I am seriously going to ruin the ending of the movie for you.

A couple nights ago, I watched Interstellar for the second time.  It felt quite meta, watching a movie about a mysterious character trying to communicate a mysterious message to someone when you know who the messenger is and what the message is.  All of a sudden, things seem very clear.  Not only do you understand messages that were confusing before, but you see messages you didn’t even know were there the first time you watched it.

But the thing that really struck me this time around was the parallels with the book of John.

John is, at its core, a [true] short story about a character outside of time trying to communicate a message to someone trapped in it.  This story’s climax occurs when this character [Jesus] steps into time and subjects himself to living in it so he can make himself known to his beloved.  In a stunning twist, he sacrifices himself to save her and to bring her with him outside of time.  (Think about how trippy this verse is: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” John 1:18)

In Interstellar, Cooper takes the opposite journey of Jesus. He sacrifices himself to try to save humankind only to find himself outside of time.  From there, he is able to communicate back to his daughter a message that truly will save her and all of humankind.  The stunning twist is when he ends up back inside of time and is able to see his beloved daughter face to face again.

For me, one of the most striking moments in the movie is when his daughter figures out who has been communicating with her over the course of her entire life.  She quietly says, “it’s you,” to the father she has held bitterness toward for decades.

She has faith.

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him…” John 1:9-11

“…these [stories] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31

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