Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Dark Knight

I finally got to watch Dark Knight last weekend. I wanted to see it in the theatres, but never had the time; or the money for the expensive tickets for that matter.

I kept hearing people talk about it. The words "dark" and "disturbing" were used often in describing not only the late Heath Ledger's portrayal of the JOKER but also in regards to the movie itself. Mark Hall from Casting Crowns actually said in a Twitter update that it was "the darkest movie I've ever seen. Void of hope. I'm a big super hero fan but I won't watch again".

After watching it I can say that I agree that it was dark. I agree that it was disturbing. I even agree that it was "void of hope".

However, for me... that was what made the movie so amazing.

This world we live in is not a pretty place. It is filled with evil and desperate people. Money and power become a god to people. In Dark Knight evil was present everywhere - not dissimilar from real life.

It makes perfect sense that good people would find it disturbing that there was so much evil. Good is, after all, the antithesis of evil. Without good there would be no evil. The presence of evil simply confirms the existence of good.

The one truly sad part of the movie was the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker. He was far too young to face death and I pray that the darkness was only the role he played and not a reflection of his soul. He played the character of the Joker beautifully.

Instead of the goofy clown that Jack Nicholson played in the original Batman movie, he was demented, twisted and absolutely crazy. He covered the scars on his face with makeup, but they were still visible.

Those scars... I have thought deeply about those scars so many times since I watched that movie. They represent more than a facial deformity.

He tells two different stories about how he received the scars. I won't describe them, but they center around two themes: a broken home with a drunk and abusive father as well as broken marriage caused in part by gambling problems. You see what is happening here?

He never actually says how he got them, but one thing became absolutely clear to me. The scars represent the end result of evil - or sin - in our lives. He could have told 100 more stories that all ended up with his face being cut and it would have had the same effect.

Much like the Joker we can put on makeup to hide the scars that sin has given us; when the makeup washes off we still are left with a reminder of what we've done.

Sin cuts us so deep that scars are left behind. We try to cover them up by putting on a fake smile and going about our lives like nothing is wrong. However, behind that smile lies the truth. We have been hurt. We have hurt others. We have sinned. Now we live with the consequences. We go through our daily lives knowing that the scars are there... we pick at them... we try to hide them.... we glory in them... we despise them.

Christ knew we would get these scars long before we were even born... These scars are what brought Him to our level... that brought Him to earth to clean up the mess we made... brought Him here to heal these scars... with scars of His own.

As each spike was driven into His human body he felt the pain. His fragile frame bore the weight our sins with each massive blow He took. I'm sure the loud clank of the hammer to this spike resonated throughout Jerusalem. Each hit must have forced why He was there to the forefront of His mind.

CLANK! You abused your child...

CLANK! You cheated on your spouse...

CLANK! You lied, you stole, you killed...

As they raised His cross into its place in the eternal history books you were in His thoughts. Imagine the worst thing you've done in your life.... Now imagine that at the moment as Christ was nailed to that splintered hunk of wood... He saw what you did. He knew.

At that very moment He knew you would sin... Yet...

CLANK! I love you despite your sin.

CLANK! I am doing this for you...

CLANK! My scars can heal yours... and make you whole again.

He took His final breath... Though the sacrifice act was finished, the eternal battle for your soul had officially begun.

In the Dark Knight it was a battle of good vs. evil and a struggle to find light in the darkness. Real life is very similar... The difference is in the hero. Batman was still just a man. An imperfect man that made mistakes.

Christ is and was and will forever be perfect. He is the only truly incorruptible source of hope that this world has.

Putting your trust in man will lead you to destruction. Putting your trust in Christ will save you from it.

In one scene Harvey Dent (who becomes the character two-face) says, "You either die a hero... or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain".

I tweaked it a little bit: You either die knowing Christ... or you live life the way you want long enough to die without Him.


  1. Anonymous1/08/2009

    What an AWESOME blog/devotion Bob! TRULY AWESOME! A spiritual battle is ongoing over us all the time and we as followers of Christ need to WAKE UP and stop the apathy before it deadens us to the evil that tempts us so easily. Great Blog! Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't seen Batman yet, but Katie and D.J. LOVE it. I may have to screen myself with your comments ringing in my ear!

    Hope your 2009 is Blessed.

  2. Thanks Letha. Your words are too kind.

    It is an excellent movie, but you must go in with the proper mindset. It is not the old Batman movies where the villains were more "kooky" than they were demented.

    Glad to see I still have a few readers too! :)