We now come to what one helpful museum employee described to me as “the climax of the museum.” The previous exhibits took us through the first four of the seven C’s (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion). Now, with one further fifteen minute movie, we would get the final three (Christ, Cross, Consummation). The film was entitled The Last Adam, which is a reference to 1 Corinthians 15:45:
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Short review: Where’s Mel Gibson when you need him?
After the build-up of the previous exhibits, the film is a terrible disappointment. Men in White may have been a load of shameless ignorance-peddling, but at least it held your interest. This humdrum bit of dreck, by contrast, never manages to get going.
The film opens with a man sitting in front of a campfire. He shows a fossilized tooth from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Just a relic of the past now, but at one time it resided in the mouth of an actual living creature. He sets the tooth aside and picks up a Bible. Caressing it lovingly, he says:
Of this book, some think it’s just an old relic, too. Tales and stories from another time and place. Not to me. This is written by someone who was actually there.
A voiceover now reads 2 Timothy 3:16:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
The man now continues:
Right from the start in the book of Genesis, the Bible tells us about the origin of all things. Matter, light, Earth, Sun, moon, animals. Some people say that none of it is true. Well, that’s not what I believe. I believe all of it is true. And everything I’ve learned just keeps confirming how true it is. How true it always has been. The Bible even helps make sense of the hard things in this world. Things like pain, suffering and death. These were not part of the original creation.
There follows several more minutes of this, as the fellow recounts the familiar story of Adam’s sin and the subsequent corruption of the world, and the significance of Abraham and Moses. Periodically the man is interrupted so that the familiar, ominous voiceover can spout a Bible verse in our general direction.
This is where things started getting creepy. We now learn about the need for a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. For this purpose, the Israelites sacrificed an innocent, perfect little lamb. Did the man condemn this barbaric practice? Certainly not. He says:
So through Moses God revealed his law, and the people’s need for an unblemished sacrifice to atone for sin. So in obedience to God the Israelites shed the blood of spotless lambs over and over again for the forgiveness of sins. We see now that their sacrifices symbolized what was to come in the Messaih. The one who would provide the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world.
Follow that logic? Humans sin, so God commands animal torture. What charming folks.
It gets better. We next meet Mary who, we are told, knew something about sacrifice. Cut to Mary. She tells us a pleasant little anecdote about how her parents forced her to watch the sacrifice of the lambs. It might have been more convincing if they had gotten Jodie Foster to play the role. It broke her heart, but her parents felt it necessary to impress upon her the awfulness of sin and what it costs to cover it.
Life proceded to get very interesting for Mary:
One day, after I was engaged to Joseph, I was visited by an angel of God. She told me not to be afraid, and that I was to give birth to a son and that I should call him Jesus. I asked how this could be since I was still a virgin. The angel told me that the power of the most high would overshadow me and that my son would be called the son of God. One day later he would be called something else. Lamb.
This little monologue closed with the pleasant baaaaaing of a lamb.
Jesus grew up, began his ministry, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, preached the good news to the poor, and told the people that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Judas betrayed him, and Jesus was handed over to the Jewish and Roman authorities. Cut to a Roman centurion straight out of central casting.
He was just doing his job, you see. Jesus is crucified, implores His father to forgive them, and dies. Our centurion becomes persuaded somehow that he truly was the son of God.
Back to campfire guy.
Look, we’re all sinners. We’ve all rebelled against God, and we’re all worthy of death.
The wages of sin is death, intones creepy voiceover guy.
The good news, the gospel, is that the lamb of God is given for our sins, yours and mine, to restore us to a right relationship with our creator. Throughout history God unfolded his plan, and it doesn’t end with death at all. Not for Jesus. Not for His people. Not for His creation. The power and plan of God were demonstrated when Jesus conquered death. He rose from the dead, he didn’t remain in the tomb. His resurrection was witnessed by over five hundred people.
After another four minutes of similar blather, the film lumbered to a close.
So there you have it. The climax of the museum is the chance to watch a video of some guy telling you about the gospel story. What a letdown!
A friendly museum employee informed us that if we felt the need to talk about anything we had just seen, there were counselors available for that purpose. Since I don’t think my kind of conversation was what they had in mind, I declined the invitation.