LOST and Shadows of the Gospel

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  • February 13, 2009



John Locke is way cooler than Jack Shephard.

My buddy Joe and I go back and forth about that all the time. For some reason that I can’t comprehend, Joe is a fan of Dr. Shephard. I chalk it up to ignorance. But I’m hopeful that over time he’ll come to see, as I do, that Locke is clearly far superior. In fact, this new season of Lost is only growing my appreciation for the obvious hero of the show.

As an avid fan of the series, I can’t help but notice some of the themes that have recently surfaced.

  • The island and its inhabitants are in peril. Unless they are saved, they will perish.
  • Essentially, their only hope for salvation is for John Locke to die for them.
  • John Locke is sent from the island on a mission through which everyone will be saved.  But that mission will cost him his life.
  • Locke willingly accepts the call to sacrifice his life for the sake of others.
  • We anticipate that Locke will not stay dead, but be resurrected.

Is that a cool storyline or what?

By the way, I am not saying that John Locke = Jesus. Locke is a deeply flawed, sinful, selfish, erratic, somewhat crazy, “savior” at best. I’m just saying its cool that the most popular show on television right now has shadows of the Gospel story.  There are people who are lost, headed towards death, needing someone who will die so they might live.

As a side, recently I’ve been reading through Acts 17 and the story of Paul at Mars Hill. Paul walks around the city as a student of the culture. He is troubled by the lostness of the city and its inhabitants. And when given the opportunity, he connects the things that are popular in the culture with the Gospel and even uses it to confront their misconceptions and proclaim the Truth. For example, listen to Acts 17:27-28:

Yet he [God] is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Many have noticed that the two references Paul makes here are not to Scripture. Instead they are lines that come from pagan poems. One of them is actually a hymn written to Zeus. And yet, Paul employs it to point to the true God.

There are cues all over our culture that point to truth, to God, to the Gospel.  Part of our job at 7 Mile Road is to engage our culture with the Gospel and communicate it in ways that makes sense in this time and place.  Much easier said than done.

Anyway, all I wanted to say was that John Locke could whoop Jack Shephard anyday.

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About Ajay Thomas

Ajay lives in Philadelphia with his wife Shainu and their kids Hannah and Micah. He is responsible for preaching and vision as a pastor at Seven Mile Road.

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