“I’ll be right here.”
– E.T. to Elliot before blasting off for home
“Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
-Jesus to his disciples, before blasting off for heaven
So E.T. is twenty years old. That face. Those eyes. It seems like he hasn’t aged a bit. In fact, with his new facelift, he’s even more spry than ever. If this Web site was www.nra.org, the site for the National Rifle Association, we might be discussing how wrong it was for the director, Steven Spielberg, to digitally turn some of the guns in the film into walkie-talkies (he was concerned it wasn’t suitable for the kiddies, although, interestingly enough, he did think it was okay to have Elliot, call his brother “penis breath”). Anyway, since this site is concerned with more “high-powered” issues, let us instead discuss the E.T./JC connection.
I saw E.T. again recently, and the most striking thing about seeing it this time was how I completely missed the connections between E.T. and Jesus. Looking back, it seems so obvious, and to be honest, I never made the connection on my own. It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me that E.T. could be compared to a Christ figure, that a little red light bulb when off inside of me. Armed with this newfound insight, I headed to the movie theater, and boldly grabbed my 4-gallon popcorn barrel and 2-liter bottle of Coke, determined to find all the E.T./Jesus connections I could. And find them I did. For those out there like me who missed it twenty years ago, I present the staggering evidence of how these two “alien” life forms lead parallel lives.
Exhibit A: Neither E.T. nor JC were of this world. They were strangers in strange lands who walked among us for a limited time before ascending back to their unearthly homes.
Exhibit B: While they were here, both performed miracles and healings. Jesus healed the afflicted, raised the dead, and encouraged them to go their way, once they were made whole. E.T. encouraged Elliot to let a bunch of frogs loose in biology class and healed his sagging love life by having him kiss that tall blonde girl. Don’t knock it, a miracle’s a miracle. Oh yeah, he also brought some dead flowers back to life.
Exhibit C: Speaking of resurrecting things. Both were down for the count and declared dead before (again, miraculously) coming back to life. Once they rose from the dead, they astonished their friends and inspired them to do great things, like making disciples of all nations, and flying their bikes through the air.
Exhibit D: Both loved Reeses Pieces.
Exhibit E: Both were unjustly pursued and persecuted. Since we’re still in the Easter season, what happened to Jesus may be pretty fresh in our minds. As for E.T., well, the government wasn’t about to let him get away before hooking him up and putting him through a series of tests before he finally gave up and surrendered his spirit.
Exhibit F: Finally, and most obvious is the beautiful sacred heart that each of these lovely creatures possessed. So vulnerable. So willing to love and forgive and eventually break. You’ve seen the holy cards or pictures of Jesus pointing to his exposed sacred heart with its little glowing aura and blood drops, signifying how it has been pierced? E.T.’s was similar in that it appeared to be right on the surface, glowing red and flowing with love.
I’m grateful to Spielberg (a Jewish director) for offering me yet another snapshot of God to ponder and embrace. Personally, I’ll take my Christ figures any way I can get them, whether it’s a guy with long hair and a beard, or a three foot space alien.