Luke Skywalker’s tiny X-wing class fighter skitters across the view screen, and despite his dark powers the sinister Darth Vader finds himself unable to get a clear shot. In one of the greatest movie moments of all time, Vader – the Dark Lord of the Sith who has the entire galaxy trembling at the mere mention of his name – mutters, “The Force is strong with this one.”
Talk about a turnaround! This moment is pure movie magic, as one of the greatest villains ever to grace the silver screen is forced to admit that this young hero is more powerful than he.
No matter which genre you prefer, these moments of recognition are the ones we live for, aren’t they? While engaging with fiction, we long for that moment when the hero comes out on top, good triumphs over evil, and the story’s villains have no choice but to admit their defeat.
Why are these scenes so thrilling for us? I believe it is because in our heart of hearts, we’re all longing for the day when Satan – that Villain who is all too real – will finally admit defeat in light of Christ’s triumphant return and overwhelming victory.
Jesus – Declared by Demons
This ultimate victory, which will take place at the end of time, has already been foreshadowed for us in Mark 3:1-12.
First, in Mark 3:1-6, we see that Jesus has made more than a couple of enemies. Because of the way he challenged their legalistic view of the Sabbath (Mark 2), the Pharisees began plotting as to how they can destroy Jesus. They become so desperate to silence Him that they even resort to working with the Herodians (Jewish people who betrayed their own race and agreed to work as representatives of the Roman government). This is a big deal! Under regular circumstances the Pharisees would have nothing to do with the Herodian Jews, but their mutual hate for Jesus draws them together.
But even as these men begin plotting as to how they can murder Jesus, drawing their net ever tighter, we gain a glimpse of Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God and unmatched power. As He encounters those who are demon possessed, Jesus easily casts out the demons. Mark 3:11 says that the demons fell down before Jesus and declared, “You are the Son of God!”
Move over, Luke Skywalker! Even the demons and unclean spirits cannot help but praise the power and glory of Jesus Christ. He is that worthy.
Looking Forward to the Final Victory
Revelation 16 reveals that when Jesus returns He will pour the full cup of God’s wrath upon the earth, crumbling the world’s cities and destroying the world’s kings in one fell swoop. After this, a voice from God’s throne will declare, “It is done!”
And as we find in Romans 14:11, in that day “every knee will bow” before Christ and “every tongue will acknowledge God.”
What a glorious triumph this moment will be!
The Villain’s Recognition
No wonder we love fictional stories that feature villains declaring the greatness of our heroes… this resonates with our hearts, because along with the rest of Creation our hearts are longing for the day when every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord!
I still want to stand and cheer each time I hear Darth Vader interrupt his mechanical breathing to murmur, “The Force is strong with this one.” But not just because this is a golden moment in the Star Wars screenplay, but because moments like this remind me of the Great Moment of Recognition that is to come.
Can’t wait to see it.
Photo Credit: Darth Vader und imperiale Sturmtruppen, Creative Commons 2.0