The Matrix or Freedom?

Many of you saw the movie The Matrix starring Keanu Reeves, who played the role of Neo. Neo discovers that his existence is not what he thought it was. He thought he was a regular guy with a normal job leading a normal life…free and independent. Neo meets an intense, compelling man named Morpheus, who offers him two pills. The red pill will answer the question “what is the Matrix?” (by removing him from it) and the blue pill allows for life to carry on as before. As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo: “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

Neo chose the red pill and was shocked beyond his wildest imagination when Morpheus reveals to him that he was really a slave to the matrix and the freedom he imagined he had was only an illusion.

When Neo chose the right pill his eyes were opened to the truth…and that truth made him free.

Millions sat spellbound and watched The Matrix and its sequels. I wonder how many paused to consider their own situation. Are we really free? Or, are we slaves to a system which blinds our eyes to the truth of who we really are and what is being done to us?

In St. John’s Gospel he recounts a discussion between Jesus and some religious Jews, who thought of themselves as free men. Jesus told them that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Sounds a bit like Morpheus talking to Neo and offering a choice of two pills, one of which would reveal the truth.

The Jews heard what Jesus said and recoiled stating that “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Their response floors me. The reality was that Roman troops occupied and controlled their country at the time. They had only as much freedom as a foreign power would give them. But, Jesus was referring to something far more sinister than the Romans. However, they didn’t see it. They were, in a sense, solidly in the matrix. Jesus, like Morpheus, was offering them the right pill to open their eyes…a pill He called “the truth.”

Jesus then lays it out for them: “…whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” Sin is the matrix. It entices, deceives, deludes, enslaves and finally destroys. Sin is alluring because it gives one the sense of freedom, independence, and being the ‘captain of your own ship.’ It is a false reality. The reality is that sin is a terrible taskmaster, whose sole objective is to use us up and destroy us.

Here is the claim Jesus made to those trapped in the matrix of sin: “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

How does the Jesus make us free? He exposes sin for what it is; that we are caught up in it and that it controls us and sucks the life out of us. Then He takes on sin by assuming our sin-debt and paying the penalty it extracts, which is eternal death (eternal life separated from God– known as hell). He died in our place breaking the power of the matrix of sin, freeing us to live a new life with eyes wide open not only to the evil of the matrix, but with a clear view of the new Zion ahead of us.

So, the reality is that Jesus speaks to you as He did those people in His day. The matrix of sin is just as real now as then. Jesus is the only One who can make you truly free. You can choose whichever “pill” you want. The one leaves you in the matrix; the other opens your eyes and brings you to the Savior and the reality of a new life in Him.

“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”