If you’re looking for a film to watch with a nonchristian friend this Easter you don’t have turn to an adaptation of Gospels to catch a glimpse of Jesus. Christ figures are literally everywhere on the silver screen.
Unlike the figure of Jesus portrayed in a gospel film, a Christ figure is any character who parallels the life, death or resurrection of Jesus. Depending on the similarities, the reference may be painfully obscure or glowingly transparent.
John Coffey, for instance, in the Green Mile is most certainly a Christ figure. Did you catch that his initials are J.C! And if that doesn’t convince you, he also heals, raises the dead and is executed by the state for a crime he didn’t commit.
But Christ figures also play central roles in films like
- Les Miserables
- Cool Hand Luke
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- Aliens 3
- V for Vendetta
- Sling Blade
And that’s just a few.
My goal here though isn’t just to point you to films that make an implicit reference to Jesus. For that we would need a little more time. Instead I want to narrow the focus to films that also allude to His resurrection.
Here’s a list of ten, plus an extra thrown in for good measure.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
- E. T. (1982)
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
- Braveheart (1995)
- The Truman Show (1998)
- The Iron Giant (1999)
- The Matrix (1999)
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2003)
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
- Thor (2011)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
What do you think? Which of these films most suprised you? Are there films you believe have been missed?
And by the way half of these films found their way into a short video I put together called the Longing of Man. Check it out! I think you’ll enjoy it.