Last Sunday I preached a sermon on Jesus’ confrontation with a man with an evil spirit in the synagogue in Mark 1. In preparation for the sermon, I decided to get Hollywood’s spin on exorcism from the recent release of “The Rite” starring Anthony Hopkins, who played the part of Father Lucas Trevan, a Roman Catholic priest who served as an exorcist in Rome.
A key part of the plot of the movie revolved around the story of a young American seminarian who was sent to a Exorcism School at the Vatican. This young American entered the priesthood for all the wrong reasons, who was at heart a skeptic who did not really believe in God nor the devil.
In the course of the storyline, the young American was confronted the face of evil and the demonic. The climax of the movie revolves around his life and death struggle with the demonic that led him to declare not only his belief in the Devil but much more importantly in God in the person of Jesus Christ.
I must admit I am often skeptical of movies coming out of Hollywood, but I was pleasantly surprised by the message of this movie. If you know someone who is a seeker this movie would create many conversation points to talk about faith. There were a number of points in the movie that I would question the theology from a biblical position, but over all its declaration of Jesus as the victor of the demonic is right on target.
In the first chapter of the gospel of Mark it is clear who holds the supreme authority in the spiritual realms. Just listen to the demons as they cry out to Jesus.
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24 NIV)
Yes, Jesus came to destroy the work of the Devil and his minions. It is good to know as John declares:
Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4 KJV)