The world can be divided into two types of people, those who watch “Lost,” the ABC mini-series that is starting its sixth and final season tonight, and those who don’t watch it. If you don’t watch it, maybe this post will show an interesting side to “Lost” you may not have considered. And then again maybe not.
There are some pretty interesting Gospel-related references in “Lost.”
The major reference was in the last show in Season 5, which I viewed again last night in preparation for the beginning of Season 6.
The basic premise seems to be that Jacob (the mysterious “god” of the island where the people are lost) is an omnipotent Good Guy. He is opposed by another “god” of the island who is an ever-present and powerful Bad Guy who wants to kill the Good Guy. Both of them appear to have mortal bodies and are gods in the same sense as the Greek and Roman gods of mythology — ie, they have super-human powers and live for millennia but they can be killed.
The Bad Guy needs to find a loophole in some kind of cosmic law to be able to kill Jacob. And after presumably hundreds of years, he finds it. He convinces a real-life human bad guy (Ben) to kill Jacob through trickery and by whispering into his ear all of the bad things that Jacob has allowed to happen to Ben during his lifetime.
Jacob is something of an optimist about human character and believes that people can make good decisions and come to the island and eventually become peaceful. But the reality is that the majority of “Lost” involves one group or another finding a reason to fight with another group. So, Jacob’s paradigm seems fatally flawed. His nemesis believes that humans are incapable of being peaceful.
Interestingly, the fifth season shows one couple, an older husband and wife, who separate themselves from the violent intrigue around them. They have a simple hut on the island, are kind to everybody, have enough food and spend their days just living and enjoying themselves without fighting anybody else. This, it seems, is what Jacob wants people to do on the island.
So, let’s review. People find their way onto an island (ie, the Earth). There, they spend most of their time fighting (“wars and rumors of wars.” ) There is a god of the island (Jacob) who believes people have a capacity for good. A very small number of people actually act in a good way. There is another god of the island (unnamed, I believe) who thinks they do not. The bad god is looking for a way to kill Jacob, but cannot do it himself, so he must trick somebody else into doing so.
So, from a certain perspective, you can see Jacob as a Christ figure and the bad god as a Satan figure. Just like Christ, Jacob is killed at the end of the fifth season, but he allows himself to be killed (he just stands there while Ben stabs him, doesn’t even try to move). You can see the good, peaceful people (in the minority) as those who are following Jacob’s “plan.” Interestingly, the bad god figure tricks Ben into killing Jacob by possessing the body of another character who is dead.
In an interesting twist, Jacob says before he dies: “they’re coming.” We don’t know who “they” are.
So, if the Sixth Season plays out to form, we will have some kind of resurrection of Jacob. More people will learn to follow Jacob’s ways and live in peace on the island. The bad guys will Get Theirs. Tune in tonight to find out what happens.