A movie that asks a big question - is there life after death?
What happens after you die? It’s a question that cuts to the heart of our existence. Is this life all there is” or is there a life after this one? For those who have lost a loved one this is more than casual speculation. This is “need to know” information. Where are they? Are they okay? Can I speak to them one more time?
What’s the movie about?
Hereafter is a movie that deals with the question of life after death. Through the stories of three different people from different parts of the world director Clint Eastwood challenges our ideas about the afterlife and why it scares us so much.
Matt Damon plays George a man who can get in contact with ghosts. He hides his ability considering it a curse afraid that people will think he’s a freak. Marie is a TV journalist who has a near death experience when she narrowly avoids drowning during a tsunami in Asia. She’s shaken by what she saw while dying and is finding it difficult to readjust to normal life. And there’s Marcus a boy struggling to cope after the death of his twin brother Jason. Each story approaches the question of life after death in a different way.
Hereafter vs Heaven
The problem I have with movies that involve ghosts and the like is that it all ends up quite selfish. It’s all about us. We want to contact the dead for our sake not theirs. The focus is all about our ability to cope in life without our loved ones our need for closure our need to speak to them one more time in order to survive this life. The living world is presented as the main game and the afterlife as some kind of dead-end nowheresville (excuse the pun). This is not the perspective the Bible takes.
The next life is the goal not the consolation prize. This world is full of hurt pain and suffering. The new creation that God has planned is far superior. I know when I’m in heaven I won’t be moping around wishing I was back on the old earth. I’ll be celebrating that I’m in the new creation hanging out with God.
Why you should see this movie
If you are looking for a movie to see with your non Christian friends that will provide opportunities for discussion after you couldn’t do much better than Hereafter. The movie asks many questions but answers few. Hereafter addresses the issues but wisely doesn’t attempt to give glib meaningless answers. Ultimately the characters have no special insight or wisdom – they’re just as much in the dark as we are. Walking out of the cinema you’d find it difficult not to discuss these issues. And as a Christian you have a great opportunity to turn the discussion towards Jesus.
For many people the big issue about the afterlife is certainty. How can you be sure where you’ll end up? As Christians we know that it’s not about being good or bad. If it was we’d all be in trouble because we’ve all failed to get onto God’s “good enough” list. But by believing in God’s son Jesus by believing that through his death and resurrection we have been saved we know where we’ll end up. “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord ” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead ” you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)We have certainty that we’ll end up in heaven.
Make watching Hereafter a priority. But don’t watch it alone. Watch it with non Christian friends. Use the opportunity to introduce your friends to Jesus and the certainty he brings.