On Father’s Day the fam and I saw the movie “Wonder Woman”. This writing is an ending spoiler so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may want to read this encouragement at another time.
This depiction of Wonder Woman was new to me. Although I knew the basics of her superhero status, I was not aware of her origins as a daughter of Zeus and an Amazon woman. Her idyllic childhood on a perfect island away from mankind protected her innocence until she became a young adult. She then travelled a great distance to the front lines of battle in WWI to destroy evil. Although in her understanding she thought she was to destroy Aries, the god of war, in fact, she learned that even destroying the source of evil does not remove it for mankind’s choices are what keeps evil alive.
I do not intend to go deeply into religious parallels and discussion for volumes could be written, and there are many who would have trouble hearing me since the topic of Wonder Woman herself can be an emotionally charged one. Yes, the movie has Greek mythological gods and feminism is a major theme. But what we can see in this story is so much greater . . .
Toward the end of the movie, when Wonder Woman is in the throes of battle with seemingly inconquerable Aries, she rises in the air above him, hovers, and then descends with her arms out in crucifixion form. Yes, both my sister and I were in tears. For in this scene, Aries has again and again shown her the ugliness of mankind. He has tempted her to join him and leave these miserable creations to their own self destruction. And he seems to be so much more powerful.
At the peak of her struggle with Aries, she sees the explosion of the plane her love interest was piloting on a suicide mission to destroy all the poisonous gas that would have killed so many. She is filled with the overwhelming power of sacrificial love. As the power of love for others who don’t deserve love grows, the power of Aries is diminished, his strong armor is stripped off, and he is vanquished. Wonder Woman, in an act of loving the most undeserved, even spares the life of the creator of the poisonous gas as she is able to see the inventor’s weakness and human fragility. She gives up her life in paradise to instead serve mankind and fight evil.
It can be no accident that Yeshua’s sacrificial love of mankind had to be part of the writer/director/producer’s inspiration, if not consciously, then clearly subconsciously, and clearly from HaShem. The crucifix symbolism was unmistakable. Can’t you just imagine the director coaching Israeli born (Jewish) actress Gal Godot, “Now pose as if you were Jesus on the cross.” The script of the dialogue between the forces of evil (Aries) and good (Wonder Woman) could have come straight from a sermon on Yeshua’s love of undeserving mankind. For it is not in the churches and synagogues that all will be reached. It is in the subtle suggestions, the secular movies, our workplaces, our grocery stores, our gatherings, that His message of unconditional love will be able to be heard. For my sister and me the powerful closing scenes were a poignant reminder. For some who do not know Him, the film may spark a childhood memory of Him, of a time, perhaps, when Yeshua’s love was innocently understood. For all, the message is at a minimum, redemptive, a starting point for drawing closer to Him.
Praise Him that He opens our eyes to see Him at work, even in mainstream movies. Praise the days we live in where His presence pervades all.