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“I Am” Legend

July 11th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 91: 9-10 (NLT)

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Here Before Reading Ahead

In the movie I Am Legend, Will Smith portrays a military scientist who is the lone survivor in New York City of a devastating airborne epidemic.  This disease has killed millions of people worldwide and those who have survived have been turned into rabid, violent zombies who can’t live in the sunlight.  Their plague spreads throughout the population either killing people or turning them into zombies as well.  All in all, it’s a very uplifting concept.  

Consequently, I’m not endorsing this movie or telling you to go see it; this is simply an illustration.

Will Smith’s character stands alone in the fight because he refuses to leave the city.  Consequently, he is also one a very small percentage of the world’s remaining population that is immune to the effects of the disease. Therefore, he finds himself living in a frightening environment that requires him to lock himself in his barricaded house every night while the streets are overrun with bloodthirsty subhumans infected by the disease– and he does it on purpose in search of a cure.

Psalm 91: 9-10 speaks of “plagues” and “evil” that want to conquer us.  Much like the premise of I Am Legend, these aren’t fun topics to discuss, but they are essential to understanding what Christ has done for each of us.  

First of all, there is an pandemic that threatens to destroy all humanity– it’s called the fall of man.  Each of us must fight the infection within us and around us that seeks to devour our very existence.  God’s Word is very clear that there’s a war going on within us between our old nature and our new nature and that both are battling for the supremacy of our souls.  That’s why, the Bible says, we aren’t free to do all the good things we want– there’s always a perpetual internal struggle going on within us (Galatians 5: 16-17).  Sure, this sounds horrible; but wouldn’t you rather know you were in danger than to live oblivious and open to blindsided attack?  

Secondly, just like the movie, there is a lone Survivor who deliberately chose to live in the midst of our horrifying situation.  Jesus is this person.  I say person because He really lived as a human where we live and He really experienced our pain.  Like Will Smith’s character, He “dwelt among us,” yet He alone was immune to the sin that had infected the human race.  Also like Will Smith’s character, His mission was to save a depraved world that rejected Him and constantly tried to kill Him.

Thirdly (and this is where it gets exciting,) just like the movie, the cure for the worldwide pandemic is found in the blood of the only Survivor.  Not to ruin the ending for you, but Will Smith’s character deliberately lays down his life to make sure that the cure makes it to the world’s population.  In much the same way, Jesus laid down His life so that His blood could cure the epidemic of humanity, even though humanity was to blame for His death– that is real love, selfless and pure.

In the Bible, Jesus calls Himself, “I Am.”  This literally means that His existence isn’t contingent upon anything else– He just is.  As Psalm 91 says, if you make God, or the “I Am”, your refuge and your place of safety, evil will not conquer you and the plague of sin will not overtake your life.  The “I Am” lived where we live and died the death that we deserved to die so that now we don’t have to.

Oh, but there’s one major difference between the movie and what Jesus did for us: when it was all said and done, Jesus came back to life in three days!  The “I Am” didn’t just die for you; He still lives for you as well!  Now that’s what I call the stuff of “legends.”

 

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