The theme of the glorification is hinted at in many films at their conclusions when they show the hero or situation fading into pure light. In Platoon, the hero, in a helicopter, fades into the pure light of the sun as his voice-over submits to seeking goodness; in The Peaceful Warrior, the master passes away by turning into pure light.
The common way the glorification is represented is by superhuman feats the hero performs, particularly if these deeds have to do with saving the world. In The Matrix(the first film of the Matrix Trilogy) Neo does this when he saves his fellow rebel and beloved, Trinity, by hanging on to a cable from a crashing helicopter, trusting she will cut it and hang on. In The Avengers Iron Man swoops in and catches an atom bomb and then directs into the heart of the enemy ship and thereby saves the world. Also, when Superman saves several men from certain death when he walks through fire and holds up an enormous tower as they are saved by a helicopter. This is glorious because “the One” has the skill and awareness to perform the feat that saves the world.
The theme of superhuman powers is most like the glorification when it is combined with the hero’s willingness to sacrifice his or her life for others. But there is much more to the process of the glorification that the Lord went through, and there are only a few films I know of that depict greater particulars of the glorification.
Often, the glorification process is represented in film by the hero having the power to enter the heart of the enemies abode when this seems the most impossible thing to do, but by doing so he destroys the evil forces from within.
Superman does this when he enters the power beam from the world engine that is transforming earth into Kripton. With incredible determination, Superman flies up through the heart of the beam—withstanding its massive force—and begins to move upward. He strains higher and higher into the light until he reaches the world engine and destroys it. When the deed is accomplished, the captain of the army says, “He did it,” similar to Jesus saying, “It is finished.” (Similarly in The Matrix, when Neo has finally destroyed Smith, the leader of the Machine World, he says, “It is done”). In the Bible, these words signify Jesus accomplishing his glorification. Superman is then shown in a peaceful, colorful scene lying down with the rays of the sun on him as he reaches toward its pure light, (a trope in many hero films). Superman is known to get much of his power from the earths sun. One of the reasons this scene is so meaningful and powerful is that Jesus is the Divine Human in the midst of the spiritual sun in the spiritual world, and from it provides life for all living things. In the transfiguration and other places, the Lord is described as shining like the sun.
To a lesser extent, the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still pursues this theme when ‘“the one who can save the world,” an alien named Klaatu, becomes convinced of the goodness in humanity and fights his way against the swarm (which is certain to consume the earth in darkness) and dares to enter the heart of the alien mother ship. He is shown at the end fading into pure light, and the swarm recedes and leaves.
The best film in this genre to depict some of the details in the process of the glorification is The Matrix. Prophecies are an important part of the glorification of Jesus. In The Matrix the theme of prophecy is essential and well developed. In it “The One” is the person who can and does fulfill the prophecies just as Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies told about him in the Old Testament. Simply put, prophecy is divine truth from God, and whoever fulfills prophecy is from God, and as he or she accomplishes each fulfillment she or he comes closer to oneness with God. The Lord’s process was not a forgone conclusion—a common misconception; it was an enormous battle and struggle in doubt from moment to moment. When he fulfills the last temptation on the cross He says, “It is finished,” meaning that he made his human body divine and returned to oneness with the Father, which is the culmination of the glorification of Christ.
In the first film of the Matrix Tilogy, Neo’s status as The One is constantly in doubt, but He gradually performs the deeds as no one but the Divine can. His status as The One is confirmed when he is Killed by the agents, but then resurrects from the dead and has gained exponentially greater powers – which he then demonstrates by defeating three agents with supernatural power.
In the last movie, in spite of everyone telling him he is insane except a few who believe in him, Neo travels into the heart of the evil realm of the machines. This comparable to Jesus descending to hell, and the disciples pleading with him not enter Jerusalem where he will be killed. As he is walking closer to face the power center of the machines, the image switches between a realistic view of metal walkways, scrambling insect machines, grey cables and such – to Neo’s inner vision, which is burning light that depicts perceiving and entering the internal of all things. He at once submits to and transcends the power of the machines, and they allow him to battle the multiplying agents alone, for they know he is the only one who can do it. He gives himself up, and trusting in the truth. This compares to Jesus allowing the religious leaders to capture and torture Him, and entering the last temptation. Neo then has a royal battle with the evil agents, and defeats them by the power of his light and truth. Swedenborg tells only the might of the Lord from divine truth can battle against and defeat the forces of evil. This is why Neo alone can do this. All of these events are allegories of the glorification of Christ.
One of the scenes that makes the Matrix the greatest representation of the glorification occurs at the end of the battle between Neo and his nemesis, agent Smith. Smith presses his hand into Neo (as he has done to many others during the movie) and a suffocating blackness consumes inside and out. This blackness represents the over -accumulation of hereditary evil that is overtaking the world and each person. As Swedenborg said in reference to the accumulation of evil on earth before Christ came, if Jesus had not stopped it humanity would have eternally lost in darkness. Smith attacking is the moment Neo has been waiting for, for when the evil consumes him – it also gives him access to all evil and with divine power enters the innermost and defeats their forces from within. Neo is then shown in the machine city lying in the cross position in pure burning light and the machine voice says, “It is finished,” just as Jesus says when he has accomplished his glorification.
This victory corresponds to Jesus purifying his body of all hereditary evil, subjugating all the forces of evil, and especially expanding his presence infinitely by entering the natural level of reality, that is, the innermost of all things in all the universe. In this way Neo in the movie, and Jesus in the world, renewed all things of heaven and earth. Jesus, by his supreme act of love and skill made his human body divine, merging it with the divine of God, which is the glorification; He also released all the captives in the false heavens of the spiritual world, which is redemption, and He restored spiritual freedom to the whole world. Simulerly, Neo embodies divine power, he redeemed all of Zion (the land of non-subjugated humans outside of the Machine) and released all the captives that were held so long in the pods, and restored freedom to everyone. This release is confirmed at the end of the movie where the Oracle asks the Architect if he will release all the people in the pods, and he says, “What do you think I am—Human”. Then at the very end there is a salvation scene in which the Oracle and the little girl take great pleasure in a suddenly beautiful and colorful land.