If you scan YouTube for movie Easter eggs, you’ll find a lot of different things to watch. Most often, you’ll note Marvel movies about small but noticeable teases they’ve put in the movie. An Easter egg in film is a surprise hidden in the movie, reminiscent of hiding eggs on Easter. How we got rabbits hiding eggs as a representation of the resurrection of Christ is a whole other blog. In the Equalizer 2 with Denzel Washington, I’d like to draw attention to an Easter egg of sorts. It doesn’t tease another Equalizer, or point back to any of Denzel’s favorite super heroes growing up. Instead the product placement is a tad more subliminal, an almost imperceptible nod about where people should place their faith.
During the movie Denzel’s character, Robert McCall, befriends Miles, a young African-American. Their relationships grow as Robert takes an interest in Miles’ life; listening to his story and getting to know him, while still showing a firm confidence in calling Miles to a different standard. As Robert’s compassion for Miles increases, he notices him going to a dope house in the projects where, surrounded by thugs and drugs, he is impelled to kill the young men responsible for shooting his brother. Miles is clearly uncomfortable with the suggestion, but knows of no alternatives. Luckily, Robert breaks in after breaking a few noses, to put the brakes on Miles’ predicament. After pulling him out of the apartment, he proceeds to tell Miles he is about to waste his chance and that he can’t blame his circumstances or the white man. Understanding Miles’ portrayal is key. He is a black youth, living in a not so good neighborhood, single mother, older brother mindlessly gunned down, skipping school, with a gift which he, consistent with his thoughts of his cultures view, looks down upon. Our Easter egg hunt takes us to a following scene, where Miles is ready to listen and change, and Robert hands him a book.
Companies will pay millions for the protagonist to drive their car in a high-speed chase, or be the watch that is checked after surviving explosions. It’s all intentional, there are no accidental movie placements, and seeing the full cover, title, and author of a book is no different. After snatching Miles off the road to destruction Mr. McCall, gives him the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates. In this one inconspicuous moment, Miles has just been proselytized. If he reads that book what he will find are the true stories of African American plight, with an unflinching gaze at the bombardment of abuse and mistreatment of minorities. He will also find the false hope of human potential and the lie atheism. Mr. McCall wants him to have a future, but the help he has offered, if truly believed, will only smother the dim light of hope that exists. It's more hoaxing the hurting, than "hope in the hood". Within that book the author explains his unbelief in God stems from so many bad things happening to so many people. Maybe you’ve heard it before, “If God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there evil in the world?”
Why do bad things happen to good people? First off, if they didn't God would be a liar. The Bible continually tells us that this world is fallen and filled with fallen people (Rom. 1:28-32, 3:9-18, Eph. 2:1-3). Furthermore, the Bible makes clear that we will face persecution, unjust authorities, and that the road will be hard (2 Tim. 3:12, John 16:33, 1 Peter 2:13-25). God never lies (Ti. 1:2), but we are adept at selecting parts of the Bible to heed. Secondly, bad things happen because individuals are not obedient to God. If we lived according God’s commands, where would murder, lying, adultery, sex-trafficking, or starvation be in our world? All troubles would be eliminated if His will was done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matt. 6:9-14). Sinful people are the reason that bad things happen. Lastly, bad things happened to a good person, so we could all be good people. Christ, the only truly good person, was ridiculed, abused, and killed on the cross, so that in taking our badness we could receive His goodness before a righteous and holy God (Rom. 4:22-25). A bad thing happened to the God-man so we could be saved, that’s how things are eternally equalized.
Denzel’s character is known as the equalizer due to the fact that he rights wrongs, stands ups for the weak, and carries out justice. He does everything in a movie that God will do in reality (Jer. 23:5-6, Rom. 12:19). According the theology of atheism, there is no divine justice or point in life but to enjoy what you can, while you can. Christian belief is that God will not let sin go unpunished, that he will avenge, and though it seems the wicked prosper there is coming a day when all will be paid back according to their deeds(Ps. 73). As human beings we are designed to hope, to know and desire better, but when we look to ourselves and encourage others to do the same, we are actually miles away from true hope, the person of Christ.
Where do you find it hardest in your life to believe in or hope in God?
What injustices do you see that you don’t have an answer for?