Brooke and I came out of the theater on Saturday afternoon and lightly jogged to the car to get out of the rain as quickly as possible. We got in the car, shook off the rain drops and Brooke asked me what I thought of Daren Aronofsky's Noah, which we had spent the past two hours and eighteen minutes watching. Brooke and I love going to the movies. We did it a lot when we first started dating and it is still our go to date night activity. We usually end up talking about every movie we see the whole drive home. Brooke says she likes what I have to say about movies because it's what I studied in college. We recently saw the LEGO Movie, Divergent and Son of God and we discussed all three on the way home.
Something we have never done after entering the car that we did after seeing Noah is open the Bible app on my iPhone. I asked Brooke to drive as I read the story of Noah in the book of Genesis. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I read it so I wanted to read it word for word with the movie so fresh in my mind. So Brooke drove and I read as we made our way home.
After I finished reading the story of the great flood I found myself saying something over and over to Brooke.
"I believe this story."
I found myself having the same thought over and over while watching the movie. I believe that God flooded the earth, chose one family to survive and filled a giant wooden box with animals. I believe that.
I found myself in the dark of the theater thinking that I often have this idea of Bible stories being just that, stories. I don't think about what they actually looked like as they happened and were lived out by normal human beings. I don't think about the fact that Noah was real with hands, feet, a heart, emotions, feelings, and shortcomings just like me. I was told the story of Noah probably 100 times growing up in Sunday School, but it wasn't until Saturday that I visualized some of the amazing and harsh realities of it all.
I never visualized what it would look like to see animals of every species walking together, not killing and eating each other as they entered a boat. I never thought about the stress that Noah and his family would be under. I never thought about the fact that people were probably outside of the ark screaming for help until the water became too much for them to withstand. I never thought about the fact that God really did kill almost everyone on Earth. I never thought about the horror that came along with that. In the children’s books I read as a kid these aspects were all glossed over with smiling characters and happy colors, but as I sat in the theater I was confronted with some of those harsher images and ideas in a very real and raw way. It confronted me with a choice. Do I believe this story? Do I believe that God really wiped out mankind and saved a family? And do I believe that this is a God of love who is righteous, just and forgiving? And if I don't believe that this story is possible then how can I believe resurrection is possible? Do I believe in something that is unbelievable? Because the story of Noah is unbelievable.
So I sat in the IMAX and continually said to myself, "I believe this story." And I do. I believe that the story of Noah isn't just a story, but it is history. I believe that God saved Noah because he was a good and righteous man. I believe that all the animals made it on the ark to survive. And even as I type I know that it sounds outrageous, but I believe it.
Even more outrageous than animals on a boat is the fact I believe the same God that saved Noah is saving me. He is saving me through His son Jesus. I believe that Jesus came to earth, lived and died for me to have life!
Noah isn't a perfect movie by any means because perfect movies don't exist. There are weird aspects to the story that I wasn't a fan of, but I don't want to even go into them because I think that's all people will focus on. What I want to focus on is that a movie about Noah created by a self-proclaimed atheist challenged me to decide what I believed about this story, the Bible and in turn, Jesus. Now imagine if we were challenging people the same way. To look at themselves deep down in the recesses of their heart and ask, "Do you believe this story?"