I made my long-awaited return to the cinema this past week. I love going to the cinema, there is something about getting the tickets, buying the sweets, drinks, popcorn, nacho’s or even a hotdog. It has become a real experience! And that is before you struggle to find your seat in a darkly lit theatre while juggling your ticket with all your goodies and probably your phone too so you can use the touch to see where you are going, PRAYING you don’t drop anything or that God forbid, I sit in someone else’s seat. But once I get my seat, I can relax. I can start eating all my popcorn while I watch ads for upcoming movies and then be out of popcorn before the movie even starts! The main reason I go to the cinema though is for the story. I’m quite impatient when it comes to this, if a movie hasn’t sold the plot to me in half an hour you can forget it, I’m switching off, you had your chance, you blew it. Most good movies do set you up though, which I am thankful for. However, a friend brought it to my attention a number of years ago about continuity. I might be able to grasp the overall story, the overall plot, but I am prone to missing little bits of information that in the long run just don’t add up. This is why I bring Peter Carolan along to the cinema with me. He lets me and anyone within a 500 meter distance know that something isn’t right and that continuity isn’t being adhered to.
The film I saw last week was Fast and Furious 9. It was a typical car movie, with explosions, guns, short dialogue, family (Dom Toretto voice) and a moment that Elon Musk would be proud of. Even though this is what I was looking for in a film, the good guys, the bad guys, the ‘Oh no, how are they going to get out of this?’ I felt cheated by it. I can’t and won’t go into detail on it because some of you may go and see it. Karl will probably go, just to see how they clean the cars! The story just never clicked. When I looked at the Fast and Furious as a franchise, I felt so let down that some information had just been left out…like really important information. And yeah, I could shrug it off, it’s only a movie after all, it owes me nothing. You could watch this film and feel like you know the full story of the nine-film series.
I started thinking about how we do this in different ways. Some monsters read the last pages of the seventh Harry Potter book just so they could know the ending and we even do this with the Bible. We jump to the last few pages and read them famous verses in Revelation, “I am the Alpha, the Omega, beginning and end”. We cheer, we shout we worship Jesus as King as Kanye West so wisely told us in his latest album. But I would argue in declaring Jesus as King, we are missing so much of who Jesus is. Jesus as King may be our ace in the hole when it comes to who is in control ultimately. Our politics pale into insignificance when we crown Jesus as King. We join in the Kingdom that is not of this earth. Yes. Amen! Jesus beats politics! Yay. But a lot of the actions of Jesus aren’t motivated that way. Jesus’ disciples pick food off trees on the sabbath to the horror of the religious leaders. Jesus proclaims himself Lord of the sabbath. Jesus heals lepers and tells them to go to the priest. Why does he do that? Jesus calms the storms on the sea. Wait, does nature answer to him? Is there anywhere else I could read about nature answering the call of one? Jesus willingly shared a meal with a group of people who would turn on him, HE WASHED THE FEET of the man who would betray him. Tell you what, Jesus seemed to be in the business of bringing people back into the fold with God. He was so into that business he would give his own life for it. And it doesn’t make sense. Where did he get his ideas? What purpose was he fulfilling? Did he have some sort of an agenda?
I’m going through the book of Hebrews in my daily devotions at the moment and have been once again struck at how the author portrays Jesus. He calls him the great high priest. For those who don’t know, the high priest was the one and only man who could go into the holy of holies to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. It was done once a year and is still celebrated today. It’s called Yom Kippur. The point I want to make here is yes, see Jesus as King, yes see Jesus as your friend, but I would ask you to think about Jesus as priest. I wrestled with how much information I should give but decided I want people to discover it for themselves. Go check out Hebrews, read it all! Learn about Melchizedek in chapter 7, the priest who showed up once in the Old Testament. Learn about how Jesus’s great high priestly sacrifice is better than the high priests in chapter 8. Follow the rabbit hole, and I will guarantee you, you will have a greater understanding, a greater appreciation, and a greater trust in Jesus our great high priest than I could ever write in a blog. Yes, Jesus is King, but he is also our Great High Priest.