Avengers: Infinity War
The new Avengers movie will be released soon, at the end of April. It will be part two of “Avengers: Infinity War” released last year.
The villain of the movies is Thanos (the word for ‘Death’ in Greek). In last year’s movie, he wanted to solve the problem of suffering caused by overpopulation in a simple way: euthanasia. His goal was to acquire the tools that would enable him to kill half the population of the universe. The movie does a brilliant job of making him sympathetic—he is trying to solve the problem with the least amount of suffering. It makes us ask, “Is his logic really so bad?”
No, it isn’t. His logic is pretty good. And that’s the tragedy. Any number of real-life villains in human world history have used similar logic and have committed similar atrocities when they have achieved enough power. The logic is accurate, but human beings recognize that the logic is also not enough in some way. Without value on each life, Thanos is inhumane—the opposite of Captain America, who said, “We don’t trade lives.”
But the tragedy isn’t the part about dying. After all, we are all going to die. That’s the result of the Fall into sin (Genesis 3:19). People may see physical pain and death as the worst that can happen to them, but it is not nearly the worst. The worst thing that could happen is spiritual harm and eternal death in hell (Matthew 10:28).
The tragedy of Thanos’s logic is taking the decision about when people should die out of God’s hands, the only place where it belongs, and prematurely ending their time of grace. There’s only one way to avoid eternal death (John 14:6), but some people don’t know about it. The greatest tragedy of life is dying before they find out.
That’s why Christian mission and humanitarian work around the globe, in our communities and workplaces, and in our own homes is so important. Above all others, Christians have a reason to work to stop tragic, violent deaths in the world around us. Violent death of the unbeliever robs him of the chance to hear about the Way to eternal life. Violent death of the Christian robs Jesus of a worker in his harvest field (Matthew 9:37-38). Jesus wants us to share the message of the only Way to eternal life! And he wants us to do it quickly, while there is still time.
Spoiler alert: At the end of last year’s movie, Thanos succeeds in killing half the population of the universe. Presumably, the heroes who are left will find a way to bring them back to life this April. “Avengers: Endgame” will be released the week of Easter, 2019.