Mr. Anderson,...meet Neo

Mr. Anderson,......meet Neo!!

 

Please understand,...I'm not saying that The Matrix is THE Messiah Movie! But it is A Messiah Movie! And remember that The Matrix was released the weekend of Easter 1999 (and if you don't mind a rhetorical question,....What is it that is celebrated at Easter.....?). That release date turns out to be very significant! Please keep that in mind as you consider these points as parallels with the life story of Christ:

 

Christ's Life Neo's Life

Christ's Virgin Birth:
Matthew 1:24, 25 - And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Neo's "Virgin Birth":
Neo is literally born into the real world from the womblike incubator that he's existed in all his life! The imagery in the movie is even symbolic of a birth - from an enclosed sac (complete with several umbilical cords!), down the chute of the birth canal into the world!
What's in a Name?
Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel", which translated means, "God with us".

Christ was also referred to as:
- the "Son of Man" (see at right and below in "Judas");
- the Christ of God, His Chosen One;
and a host of other names.
What's in a Name?
Thomas Anderson - The name "Thomas" can be linked to "Doubting Thomas", in that Neo never really believed that he was The One. "Anderson" is a play on "Son of Man", where the 'Ander-' finds its origins in the New Testament Greek root 'andros' meaning man. Christ was often referred to as the "Son of Man". "Neo" means "new" (And that's exactly WHY Neo was there - to make things "new", to bring about a new world order).
"Neo" Anderson = New Son of Man

Neo is also an anagram: Neo - Eon - "One".
The Disciples
Mark 3:14 - And He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach.
The Crew
Neo is brought into a group of people that are excited about his presence; that are willing to believe he is "The One".
Tank: "If you ARE (the One),.....it's a very exciting time!"
John the Baptist
John 1:29, 30, & 34 - The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me'. And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
Morpheus
Neo's way was prepared by Morpheus who fervently believed and proclaimed to everyone that Neo was "The One". And the Oracle told Morpheus that HE  would be the one to find "The One". 
Morpheus: "We've done it, Trinity. We found him."
Trinity: "I hope you're right."
Morpheus: "I don't have to hope. I know it!"
Predicted Coming

Isaiah 7:14 - "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."
Predicted Coming
Neo's coming was foretold by the Oracle (And  we never saw an instance where she missed a prediction! She always knew what was going on!). 
Morpheus: "... the Oracle prophesied his return and that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix and the war, bring freedom to our people."
The Brothers
Matthew 4:18-20 - ...He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him.
Tank and Dozer
There are two brothers in this crew on the Nebuchadnezzar. With Jesus, there were 3 sets of brothers among the apostles. The fact that there were siblings in this small group (especially brothers!) makes this noteworthy as a parallel.
Judas
Matthew 26:15, 16 - ...and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" And they weighed out to him 30 pieces of silver. And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.
Luke 22: 47, 48 - ...and the one called Judas, one of the 12, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Cypher
The group is betrayed from within their own group by Cypher. Here, the Christ allegory breaks down somewhat in that Neo is not really the target of the betrayal as Jesus was with Judas (....if the Agents had only known!). The Agents, unaware of Neo's real importance, want Morpheus, and that is the deal Cypher makes - to lead Morpheus and the rest of the group (including Neo) into a trap where Morpheus can be taken. Cypher's "payment": to be reinserted into The Matrix for a "better" life.
Foretelling of Death & Resurrection
Matthew 16:21 - From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
Foretelling of Death & Resurrection
Neo's death & resurrection is predicted by the Oracle during Neo's visit. She tells Neo that he has "the gift", but it looks like he's waiting for something. Neo asks, "What?" And the Oracle (very prophetically!) replies, "Your next life, maybe!....."
Sacrifice

Matthew 20:28 - "...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Sacrifice

Oracle ( to Neo): "Morpheus believes in you, Neo. And no one, not you, not even me can convince him otherwise. He believes it so blindly that he's going to sacrifice his life to save yours. You're going to have to make a choice.....One of you is going to die. Which one will be up to you."

When Neo makes the decision to go "in" to rescue Morpheus, Neo goes with the full knowledge that he will die ("One of you is going to die."). The Zion mainframe codes must be protected at any cost, or humanity is lost. With this act, Neo is, in effect, knowingly sacrificing himself to save the rest of humanity.

Death & Resurrection

Matthew 12:40 - "...for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Luke 24: 4-7 - "...And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee. Saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."

Death & Resurrection
Later, Neo IS killed by the authorities (the Agents), and, instead of 3 days, in less than 3 minutes he is resurrected! We know that showing the passing of 3 actual days in this situation would've been impossible, so how did they symbolically represent 3 days? The prevalent screen placement of "303" should alert the sensitivities of any New Testament-savvy audience member who is aware of the numerical significance of the number three in the Gospels. This symbolic visual cue is all the film needs to alert the audience members to the significance of this momentary death. 

Now,...what force brought Neo back from the dead? LOVE! The instrument of that love was Trinity (and not necessarily the person as much as what the NAME signifies in Christianity!).

With that in mind, let's look at that resurrection scene.....(the) Trinity leans over Neo and kisses him (the proverbial "kiss of life" or "breath of life"!) and Neo awakens! And the first words Neo hears are in the form of a command from (the) Trinity, "Now,....get up!" (Can't you imagine God breathing life back into Jesus, and the first words Jesus hears are God's, "Now,....get up!")

A Greater Power After the Resurrection
Matthew 28:18 - And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
A Greater Power After the Resurrection
After his resurrection, Neo's mastery of the Matrix is total, and the authorities (Agent Smith) are powerless against him.
Radiant Presence
Matthew 17:2 - And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
Radiant Presence
After he inhabits Agent Smith's body and causes the Agent to explode, Neo is represented as an incandescent figure!
Ascension
Mark 16:19 - So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Ascension
At the end of the movie, Neo hangs up a telephone after telling the Artificial Intelligence that this is the beginning of a world with no boundaries and no borders; then he "ascends" into the sky. A very fitting end!
And a couple of other significant Biblical names: Zion, Nebuchadnezzar.

 

And consider this dialogue when Choi and DeJour come to Neo's apartment (apartment #101, no less!). Italicized dialogue shows pertinent pieces of dialogue that forshadows what is to come: 

Neo: What? What the hell?... Follow the white rabbit?... (knock, knock) Who is it?
Choi: It's Choi.
Neo: Yeah. Yeah. You're two hours late.
Choi: I know, it's her fault.
Neo: Got the money?
Choi: Two grand.
Neo: Hold on.
Choi: Hallelujah. You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ.
Neo: You get caught using that...
Choi: Yeah, I know. This never happened. You don't exist.
Neo: Right.
Choi: Something wrong, man? You look a little whiter than usual.
Neo: My computer, it... You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming?
Choi: Mm, all the time. It's called Mescaline. It's the only way to fly. Hey, it just sounds to me like you need to unplug, man. You know, get some R and R. What do you think, DuJour? Shall we take him with us?
DuJour: Definitely.
Neo: I can't, I have work tomorrow.
DuJour: Come on, It'll be fun. I promise.
Neo: Yeah, sure, I'll go.


Related Articles & Papers

The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?
This is THE definitive exposition of the religious symbolism that flows through The Matrix.
Click here for the PDF version of "The Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?" (384K)

Generation Exile and Neo Restoration
a study of messianic hope in the matrix

By Paul Fontana

in PDF format - 272K, about a 3:00 download at 56K
Paul wrote this while working towards his Masters of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School,
and has graciously permitted the publishing of his work in this on-line format.


God Is in the Details
by Lori Tharps
"The sci-fi thriller is a veritable "Where's Waldo" of religious and mythological symbolism."


Joe Pantoliano (Cypher) has something to say about the
Christian symbolism in The Matrix in this interview.

Now, the question will certainly be asked: Was this intentionally done by the writers?
Well,....the writers were asked just that question......
The following is an excerpt from a November 6th, 1999 on-line chat with
Larry and Andy Wachowski (the writers/directors of The Matrix):
Question from Starr22:   Are all the religious symbolism and doctrine throughout this movie intentional, or not?
WachowskiBros:   Most of it is intentional.

The polls are still open. Don't forget to vote!
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Matrix Parallels

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You can review  what's been discussed about this topic at these discussion threads:

The Matrix as Messiah Movie Book VI

The Matrix as Messiah Movie Book V (discontinued June 9th)  Thanks to Mike Skocko for providing this thread!

The Matrix as Messiah Movie Book IV (discontinued; no further input) 200K

The Matrix as Messiah Movie Part III (discontinued; no further input) 261K

The Matrix as Messiah Movie Part II (discontinued; no further input) 346K

The Matrix as Messiah Movie (the original topic; discontinued; no further input) 300K

Some Matrix Discussion Boards you should visit:
The Matrix Community Message Board
Yahoo! Groups: I Believe The Matrix

And,...this amazing rabbit hole also goes this way:

The genius of Mike Skocko at  ix625.com

This is Zion's Mainframe

The Matrix Unfolded

The Matrix and Berkeley's Metaphysics

For a take on not only the religious perspective, but also the technological and cultural levels,

this site at Cleave.com should keep you busy for awhile. Enjoy it!

This is the place to order your copy of The Matrix on DVD...
Get your Matrix DVD right here!

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