As mentioned in many blogs, articles and Facebook status updates, ‘Avatar’ was a film that lived up to the hype on the technological side. The visuals were stunning and the technology truly put you on the ground of the extraterrestrial planet called Pandora. While there were certainly blatant and subtle political themes that were interwoven into the plot line, there was also one concept that I thought was very beautiful. Racism, anti-military, anti-colonialism, and hyper-environmentalism have all been listed as possible themes for the film, but I would like to take a second look at the majestic planet in light of the Christian doctrine of the resurrection.
To start off with, our planet is not too shabby. While some moviegoers were depressed with the inability to live on the planet of Pandora, I do not find myself depressed, instead I am encouraged. Encouraged because this planet is incredibly beautiful and is full of majesty in the most unlikely of places. Encouraged because this planet is not operating at its peak level, since it is under the bondage of sin that humanity brought into this world. Encouraged that the cosmos will be corrected when evil has been supplanted. Paul writes in Romans 8 to give assurance,
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (8:20-22)
It was the entrance of sin that subjected the universe into disarray. It is through redemption that everything from a slug to an asteroid will be rectified. The universe is not the only thing that has a promise. Paul takes this idea another step further and writes,
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (8:23-25)
I do not believe that Cameron attempted to portray this insight into the film, but it truly was a remarkable thing to think about. To think that our planet will be righted. And that is encouraging.