The Dark Knight

Is Batman a Christ Figure?

Redefinition of Hero and Villain

July 25, 2008
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But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. —
Isaiah 53:5

Back when Titanic came out, there were those who proposed that Jack Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, was a Christ Figure. Truth be told, I automatically start getting uncomfortable whenever I hear someone say the term “Christ Figure.” There just isn’t anyone completely like Jesus, but I do realize there are certain aspects of Him that are reflected in movie characters.

July 18th has been circled in my calendar for a very long time. Little did I know The Dark Knight would be this good. I mean, I had an inkling since Batman Begins was one of the first movies to MoveMe to blog. But wow! The sequel really takes this franchise to a new level.

The movie MovedMe to explore some aspects of Jesus that are reflected in the Batman character. Let’s dig in.

Please don’t let me be misunderstood
Batman Begins started the exploration of the misunderstood hero: Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy who throws off suspicion that he is Batman. The Dark Knight continues that exploration by digging into the fact that the people he is trying to save actually blame him for the crime going on around them. They also are fickle, saying that he is a hero one minute and then demanding him to turn himself in the next.

He never defends himself, mind you, he just continues to protect the people and tries to take down crime.

Jesus was and is also misunderstood. During His lifetime nobody truly knew who He was, not even the twelve disciples that spent the most time with Him. The people of His time seemed just as fickle as the Gotham citizens, revering Him one minute for His miraculous signs and then calling for His death the next. God also seems to also get the blame for all of the ills in our world.

Just as we saw with Batman, God doesn’t defend Himself, He just continues to love people made in His image—whether they realize it or not.

Someone has to do itbig choice
Throughout The Dark Knight Bruce Wayne keeps trying to pass the mantle of saving Gotham to someone else. He thinks he finds someone in Harvey Dent, but even Dent is pushed to the dark side, so to speak. Bruce realizes even further from the first movie that being a hero has its cost. In the end, Bruce realizes that nobody else can be the savior of Gotham but him.

He decides to take the full responsibility of fighting crime in Gotham upon himself. He fully knows that means taking some of the blame for now for the crimes that others commit, as well as the misplaced wrath of the city.

The thing is, someone has to do it.

Right before Jesus went to the cross for our sins, He also asked if there was another way. In the end, as the passage from the Prophet Isaiah above states, Jesus took the judgment for our sins upon Himself. Many still believe that Jesus was just a man who ended up dying on a Roman cross, but one day it will be revealed that He and only He is our salvation.

Idols and Men Fall
We all look to solutions for the problems in our lives. Heck, even the bad guys looked to the Joker to “save” them from Batman.

What is going on in your life today? Are you going through it financially, in your marriage, your career, with family issues? You may look to idols, or false saviors, or even other people to solve these issues. I know I do! But you know what? They always fail. Just like at some point equating Jesus with a movie character fails.

This is a great movie, full of twists and turns, a bit disturbing yet at the same time thought-provoking. The thing is, in real life there is no man like Batman, but there is Jesus. He came to save us and He is the only one who can. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can find peace.

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credit: TheMovieDB.org

Patrick was born in Hollywood...literally! Hollywood Community Hospital in 1970. I met Jesus and my wife, Linda, in 1989. Two relationships that I treasure to this day. We have two sons, Joshua and Jason, and a little dog named Sophie. We love Jesus together, enjoy living on the Central Coast of California and hanging with our boys and dog at the beach or a park. As far as Hollywood Jesus it's a privilege to write with real writers...since I'm not. I hope you like my reviews, which are more commentary on everything that MovesMe. I always assume you've seen the movie or TV show that I'm commenting on...so be fair warned; I'm a spoiler.

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