Happy Monday! I know I’m a bit behind the times, but I just saw Ant-Man for the first time this past week—and I loved it. Why? For me it was mostly because of the abundance of Biblical symbolism and the overall layout of the plot elements. What can I say? I’m a geek like that.
I knew right away that I would need to put together an Ant-Man post, so I watched the movie a couple times and jotted down some notes. But, sitting here trying to pick a topic to do an Ant-Man themed devotional is making my head spin because there is so much to say. So, instead of focusing on one theme for a devotional-type piece, I’m just going to share my notes (an edited version of my notes because my actual notes would be indecipherable).
Here it goes (oh, and I should probably say: Spoiler Alert!):
Scott Lang has spent three years in San Quentin prison for breaking and entering, and grand larceny—not robbery. Lang hates violence. He has a bit of a Robin Hood thing going on—rob from the corrupt rich and give to the victimized poor. Oh, and he has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, so he’s pretty smart with that sort of thing.
Scott doesn’t have superpowers in the sense of Superman or the Hulk. Rather he is more the Iron Man type. His powers come from his suit and an ear piece that allows him to communicate with the ants. His suit allows him to shrink or expand, and gives him super-strength relative to his size when he shrinks.
Scott has just gotten out of prison and needs to get his life together (get a job and a safe place to live) so that he can see his daughter again. Problem: it is almost impossible to get a job with a rap sheet that includes “grand larceny.” Who want to hire a thief, right? Not Baskin Robbins.
Fired and disheartened, Scott gets desperate and decides to fall back to what landed him in prison in hopes to make enough money to “get his life together.” Problem: He gets caught. Solution: The man he
robbed stole the Ant-Man suit from (Dr. Pym) wants him to become Ant-Man to bring down the evil Darren Cross (Yellow Jacket) in exchange for Scott’s freedom and hope of seeing his daughter again.
- Trinity ~ Dr. Pym acts as God figure instructing Scott (Christ figure) with the help of Hope (Holy Spirit figure) to stop Darren (fallen angle/devil figure) from unleashing knowledge that would lead many people to evil.
- Christ figure ~ Scott dies a sacrificial death to stop Yellow Jacket and save his loved ones and countless others. He then resurrects from the “subatomic” level which equates to Sheol or the place of death (something Dr. Pym’s wife was unable to do). Additionally, Ant-Man gets unjustly arrested (by his ex’s fiancé, Paxton) and zapped with the stun-gun (like Christ was unjustly arrested, tortured, and nailed to the cross). Through this arrest, Ant-Man is led to where he can conquer Yellow Jacket once and for all. When he does, he changes Paxton’s view of him forever (like those who watched what Christ did on the cross and their hearts were changed forever…and like everyone who choses to believe in Christ today).
- Holy Spirit figure ~ When Scott “resurrects,” he joins relationally with Hope. And Hope is given a suit by her father, Dr. Pym, ushering Hope into the superhero world as an agent to save people, which is symbolic of Pentecost, in which the Holy Spirit was sent to Earth after Christ ascended.
- Christ v. Devil ~ The Ant-Man suit is the only power that can rival the Yellow Jacket suit, like the power of Christ is the only thing that rivaled (and conquered) the power of the devil (which is death).
- Christian Everyman Journey ~ Though Dr. Pym, Scott, and Hope act as symbols for the Trinity, they are also symbolic of Christians.
- Scott ~ When Scott first puts on the suit (symbolic of Christ), Dr. Pym says through the speaker in the helmet, “It’s a trial by fire, Scott, or in this case, water.” Scott goes through a baptism when he shrinks in the bathtub and his friend turns on the water (this line is also symbolic of the Earth’s trial through water back in Noah’s day, and the future trial by fire). Dr. Pym also says to Scott, “I believe everyone deserves a shot at redemption. Are you ready to redeem yourself?” While people can’t redeem themselves in their own power, we can redeem ourselves by choosing Christ. Scott symbolically does this when he chooses to put on the Ant-Man suit and live for Ant-Man. Scott also follows what Christ says is the greatest form of love when he gives his life to save his family and friends (and even his enemy, Paxton) by choosing to go subatomic, knowing there is likely no chance of his returning.
- Dr. Pym ~ Loses his wife, who also followed Christ in expressing the greatest form of love by giving her life to save others. He then spends his life trying to bring her back, only to realize he can’t. In this case, Pym represents human efforts to save ourselves and our loved ones from death, but being unable to. Rather we have to look to a savior. Pym looks to Ant-Man as we look to Christ. Dr. Pym blows up his company in order to prevent the spread of Darren’s evil in a symbolic representation of the call to be willing to sacrifice whatever necessary to live for Christ. Pym sacrifices his company to live for the cause of Ant-Man (saving people). (He is also shutting off human access to the source of the knowledge that will unleash evil into the world, symbolic of God cutting off access to Eden.)
- Hope ~ Darren tells Hope she picked the wrong side to serve by choosing her father. Hope is not only a symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit but also of the Bride of Christ (the Church = all those who choose to serve Christ). When she is upset with her father and Scott runs out to convince her to come back because Dr. Pym tells Scott, “You can’t do this without her,” Hope chooses to fully serve the Ant-Man cause. And she becomes the Bride of Christ at the end by getting together with Ant-Man (the symbol of Christ).
- Gospel ~ When Scott returns and tells Dr. Pym about how he went subatomic and came back, Dr. Pym is in awe, “You made it. You went in, and you got out. It’s amazing.” Essentially he’s repeating the Gospel which is that Christ died and returned; and through his conquering of death all those who follow and trust in him, he will raise us from death to life again too. That though we go “subatomic,” he will reach down and lift us to life again.
- Devil ~ Darren Cross
- His name is ironic, since Christ is usually associated with the cross. But the physical cross was a means of execution used by the Romans. A brutal means. So, Darren’s name is appropriate if we take it in the light of a person who is bent on executing the innocent.
- Lamb ~ It is very interesting the Darren chooses spotless, white lambs to test his device on, essentially offering them up on an alter to himself and sacrificing them there. Even Hope points out the oddity of choosing a white lamb over mice. The white lamb is a symbol of Christ.
- Army of Yellow Jackets ~ Symbolic of the army of demons who followed Lucifer.
- Fire & Water ~ Yellow Jacket was thrust into the pool, from which he gets logged in the bug zapper (which does not destroy him because Ant-Man has not yet defeated him through death and resurrection). This reminds me of how the Flood did not destroy the power of the Devil, but Christ coming did. And the end prophesied by the Bible of the Lucifer being destroyed in the Great Abyss (which is what Ant-Man does to him when he goes subatomic).
There you have it. That is some of what I found on my first couple of viewings of Ant-Man. Anything I missed? (I’m sure there is a lot.)