There are numerous movies and TV shows with a “savior” character who clearly parallels Jesus Christ but perhaps none more so than Neo from The Matrix Trilogy. Countless articles and college papers have been written about how his character is modeled after the Messiah of the Bible so I won’t re-tread familiar ground. What I would like to examine is Neo’s death and predicted resurrection at the end of The Matrix Revolutions and see how that narrative lines up with the real event.
In case you haven’t seen the movie in a while, I’ll just refresh your memory. Neo is engaged in a soggy street fight with Agent Smith in the Matrix while his real self has journeyed to the robot city to parley with the god-like AI that runs the Matrix. He brokers a deal with the AI, securing the end of hostilities with the human city Zion in exchange for purging Agent Smith from the Matrix, who has taken control and is making it a hellish nightmare rather than a believable facsimile of reality where people can be used as batteries without realizing it. Neo succeeds but dies in the process and is carried off into a gleaming paradise of binary code.
The parallels are quite obvious. Agent Smith is like sin, gleefully corrupting the world. Neo is Jesus, the Chosen One brought forth to eradicate sin. After defeating Agent Smith, the AI declares, “It is done,” hearkening to Jesus’ proclamation “It is finished!” from the cross. When Neo dies, his arms are akimbo in a crucified pose, and a cross-like flare flashes from his body as he expends his last remaining energy to destroy his enemy.
The divergences are also obvious. Neo and the AI are at odds for most of the trilogy, whereas Jesus is part of the Trinity and shares the same nature as the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t come to Earth to eradicate sin; He came to assume our punishment for sin. Nor is everyone saved in real life, as they are in the movie.
What is interesting to me, however, is Neo’s foretold resurrection at the end of the movie. The Oracle, the Architect, and a little girl named Sati meet in a park under a beautiful sunrise. Sati tells the Oracle that she made it for Neo, and asks if they’ll see Neo again. The Oracle says that she suspects that they will. Much debate has been made about the Oracle’s prediction, with the prevailing opinion being that they will see another incarnation of Neo one day, since he was the sixth Chosen One to go through this song and dance.
This is quite different from the actual resurrection. In the real events, Jesus bodily rose from the dead and walked the Earth. His body still bore the scars of His crucifixion but it was now a perfected body that could not get sick or die, and it is this same resurrection that is promised to us as believers. We will not merge consciousness with God or float in the ether; we will live and breathe in a new Earth in constant companionship with God, as creation was made to be in the beginning. This utopia will endure for eternity, not until the next Chosen One has to rise up to defeat evil once again.
Jesus’ actual, physical resurrection is our greatest hope as believers. His body was just like ours, though it was inhabited not my a human soul, but by the Creator of the Universe. However, what His body experienced will one day happen to us as well. Our bodies will be perfected yet will still remain. We won’t “change form” or become angels or anything like this. The allegory of Neo does highlight some Biblical truths but I am glad that the real events are even more relevant for our lives. One day, all believers shall walk in glory with God, and that’s better than anything else we could imagine.