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Let There Be Light, “Thomas”

LET THERE BE LIGHT

A Movie Review

To their eternal credit, many good Christians are serious about reclaiming society for Christ. Rather than withdraw from society and allow evil free reign, the attempt is made, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to resist evil by presenting that which is clean, decent, and holy. Recently, the basic culture of Hollywood has been exposed, once more, to be a cesspool of corruption. Famous actors, producers, and screenwriters are being called out by name as pedophiles, sexual harassers of women, and enablers. Nevertheless, where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.

By the grace of God there are still good and decent people in Hollywood making wholesome movies. Director Kevin Sorbo has produced Let There Be Light, which opened in US theaters October 27, 2017, starring Sam Sorbo, Kevin Sorbo, Daniel Roebuck, and Donielle Arlese. The movie has no profanity, a light moment of violence, no gratuitous sex, and no nudity. What the movie does have are good actors, an interesting plot, intelligent dialogue, and an emphasis on wholesome values.

While recognizing the dark side of the soul, attention is given to the redemption of an alcoholic atheist who mourns the death of his son by publically assaulting religion, especially Christianity. While debating a Christian scholar, Sol Harkins shares his grief, and anger. “I had a beautiful, perfect, glorious beloved son. My son just died from a very nasty form of cancer.” The heart wrenching question is asked, “Where was God?”

Sol comes to the conclusion that individuals do not need God. All that is needed are human values. “You don’t need God to know it’s wrong to cut someone’s head off. All you need is your humanity.”

As his personal life spirals out of control, Sol has a near death experience where he sees his son in glory, who tells him, “Let there be light, Daddy.” That was the message Sol heard. That was the message he must find the meaning mean of.

After awaking from a coma, Sol must honestly rethink his godless philosophy. By the grace of God he eventually embraces the reality of his experience. He is converted and begins to preach Christ. According to one review, “Let There Be Light ends up being an emotionally, powerful, insightful, inspiring drama, showing moviegoers that Jesus Christ enlightens all people, and brings us abundant life and joy, even in the midst of death.” I would concur, with one caveat.

While Christianity is based upon the principle of faith, the message of the movie appeals to an experience for its validity. Because Sol has seen his dead son in glory, because Sol has felt his child’s arms of love around his neck once more, because he has heard his departed son speak to him, he believes. The true object of faith, Jesus Christ, becomes almost peripheral in Sol’s conversion. Jesus has made it possible for Sol to see his son again, and to hope, but the child is the focus of attention, and a metaphor of  salvation.

Without wanting to take anything away from the movie. or its ultimate message, it cannot be easily dismissed that Jesus honors most those who have not seen, but believe. In the early Church, following the resurrection of Christ, the news came that Jesus was alive. The women at His gravesite were told to go tell the remaining Disciples that Jesus was alive. And they ran with joy to do exactly that. Peter and John raced to the Lord’s tomb to see for themselves that it was empty.

The word spread far and wide. But not all of the disciples were convinced. Thomas, in particular, doubted when the other disciples therefore said unto him, “We have seen the Lord”. But Thomas said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Eight days later, in matchless grace, Thomas was with the other Disciples in a room in a house. “Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:26-29)

It was because Thomas had seen the resurrected Lord, it was because Thomas had touched His nail scared hands, it was because Thomas had placed his hand on the wounded side of Jesus that he believed. That is good, to be sure. But the faith that Jesus wants is the faith of, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)

How does a person come to such faith? The Bible says that, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

There are multitudes who have never had a near death experience. They have never seen the light at the end of the tunnel, or experienced being surrounded by the saints of glory. Nevertheless, they believe, and confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I am among those in this category. Even though my heart was stopped several times during an eight hour open heart triple by-pass surgery in 2013, I did not see the light in any literal way, or see the saints in heaven. Nevertheless, I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. I believe that Jesus was, and is, “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1:9)

Sometime, when Jesus returns the Second Time for all who believe, or when my life on earth ends, I believe I shall see Jesus, for in the Father’s house are many dwelling places. I shall inhabit one, and Jesus will be there in heaven as well. This is a matter of faith, but it is a faith that pleases the Father, and honors Jesus Christ the most. Join now, in this life of faith. Enjoy the movie, if you are a modern day “Thomas”, but live by faith, not by experience.

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