In the opening scene of Prometheus we meet our creator and the origins of life on earth begin to unfold in a brutal way. The rest of the film is about humanity trying to connect with their creator and understand the Origin of life on earth. They set off into the heavens on a perilous journey that leads them to their creator.
And what do they find?
A really angry god and a strange substance that creates life. In fact these beings or Engineers have spread their DNA over several planets, checking in on their creations and creatures at various points. But when they looked at humanity, it would seem they are disappointed and wanted to annihilate us.
In an interview with Ridley Scott he hinted at something interesting:
Movies.com: We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Let’s send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it.” Guess what? They crucified him.*
The creators send in one of their own to try to sort our humanity and what does humanity do? Mess it up and crucify him! This really annoyed the gods.
Was Jesus dying on the cross a mistake?
Is God really angry and cruel and bent on destroying us?
If we were to connect with our creator, will he be cold and angry towards us?
Thankfully the Gospel can answer these questions and bring good news. But the reality is that this kind of god isn’t far from our imaginations. We often think god is cold and distant towards us, that if we were to journey into the heavens we would find our engineer and he would be ready to throw us on the scrap pile.
Is that how you see God?
Even though they have played with the creation story and there are echoes of the Gospel here (creation, sacrifice, creator etc) but here is a movie which points us to the need of a better story. We would be in a cruel world of darkness and shadows if our God was an engineer who is cold and cruel towards us.
In that world, in our messed up state we try to reach out to god, straining our hands to touch the heavens. There is no hope in that world, it makes us yearn for a better heaven and a kinder God.
But the Gospel tells us a different story. We don’t need to reach out to our creator – instead he has reached down to us. Jesus joins us in the pit, in our mess and filth, putting on human flesh, born a baby and he scoops us out. He isn’t bent on destroying us. His mission is to save us and we don’t have to reach out to him, he reaches out to us first.
In the film David (the robot) says:
Sometimes to create life, you have to destroy first.
The cross was to sort out our mess, but it doesn’t end there. There is hope because there is resurrection. The world is not cold but its full of life which springs out of death. There is hope here.
And there is no God who stands behind Jesus who is cruel and angry. He doesn’t want to destroy us – He wants to bring us into his family. He is a Father who loves us very much, sacrificing His only Son to save us.
Does he get Angry? Yes, but always out of love. As a loving Father might get angry when his children disobey him or reject him. But he always offers grace and a way of reconciliation.
The god in Prometheus is cold, distant and angry. An engineer with no love for his creation.
But the God in Bible is one who is full of love, life and sacrifice for the humans he has made in his image. A Father who adopts us and a Son who enters into the pit with us and raises us to life. That is the good news of the Gospel.
Oh and just as an aside, never trust robots in space.
You can buy the film Prometheus here: Prometheus