Finding the Moshiach in Lost

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SPOILER ALERT: If you watch Lost, and have not seen last night’s episode, “He’s Our You,” yet, go watch it, then come back and read this. Then again, if you don’t watch Lost, quit your job and start watching it now.

While much of the media’s attention on this season has been the subject of time travel, I have been much more interested in things much deeper, resurrection and the Messiah.

Much of this subject revolves around John Locke, the once wheelchair bound, Job-like character. He is a true believer in the uniqueness of the island, even when everyone and everything tells him not to. In return for his dedication, the island rewards him. He is able to walk, and more importantly, he is able to find his purpose.

What is that purpose? To be the leader of the island. This isn’t some democratic vote though. John Locke is chosen by destiny to the redeemer of the people, the Messiah if you will.


I highly recommend you visit this page right here to find all of the Jewish sources referring to the Messiah. The comparisons to John are striking.

Now, more about last night’s episode. Though the show currently is dealing with time travel, specifically, going back to the past, we have been told that whatever happened in the past happened. You cannot do anything about it.

Of course, the final scene of last night’s episode, on the surface, threw that theory away. Sayid, in an effort to prevent Ben Linus from manipulating everyone in the future (also, unaware of the rule of the inability to change the past), shoots “1977 Ben.” While this adds to a cool plot line, what was so fascinating to me were the Messiah and resurrection comparisons that could be made here.

We have known since the end of last season, that John Locke had died. We found out a couple weeks ago that it was Ben Linus who murdered him. We also know that John’s body returned to the island, only to be resurrected.

As far as we can understand, John is supposed to be Ben’s successor on the island. We don’t know why Ben needs to give up his power, but he does. If this is actually the case, then Ben murdering John actually is starting to make some sense. Why? Well, if John is supposed to follow the same steps that Ben did in order to become the leader of the Others/Hostiles/Natives, then he had to be murdered, just like Ben.

Some will think that just because Ben was shot, it doesn’t mean he died. No. He’s dead. Young Ben was killed. What is going to be crazy in the next couple of weeks is the story of Ben’s resurrection and his ascent into Messiah-like status for the Others.
Here is a quote from the Book of Daniel (12:2) referring to resurrection. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence.” The question here is, if Ben (presumably) and John are able to come back to life, and if Richard Alpert seems to never age, if John’s prophecy is fulfilled, will everyone else who has died since arriving on the island come back to life as well?

And here is my final question. The whole focus of the first half of this season is bringing the “Oceanic Six” back to the island. But why?

Well, if you think about it in Messianic terms, it makes perfect sense. As Louis Jacobs explains, “After the restoration of the Jewish people to its homeland in the days of the Messiah, it was believed, the resurrection of the dead would take place.”

In order for John’s prophecy to occur, and for the island to bring in a new era, everything has to be in place. Everyone must make an effort. Everyone must come back.

Posted on March 26, 2009

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5 thoughts on “Finding the Moshiach in Lost

  1. In the “Who is the Messiah?” link, it explains that the Messiah appears at first despicable and crippled and then turns into a beautiful youth. Well, John Locke was indeed once crippled. Now healed, he has yet to turn into a beautiful youth. This leads me to believe that gorgeous gorgeous Desmond is the Messiah, but must have been the ugly kid growing up. My theory is solid!

  2. JSamery

    While your explanation is credible and extremely interesting, consider the following: Farraday is wrong.

    History can be changed and whatever happened doesn’t necessarily have to happen again.

    Note the “doubling back” the show has been doing in its seasons. I refer to how the first 5 seasons each seem to have a mirror within each other. Seasons 3 and 4 both dealt with split group story-lines (main island-hydra island captives and island-back home ‘Oceanic 6′), attacks on the castaways (from the others and Widmore’s ship) as well as similar (if not nearly identical) “We’ve got to go back” season finale cliffhangers with the coffin. Seasons 2 and 5 are now beginning to mirror each other in that both seasons bring us more and more information about the hatches and their purpose, the dharma initiative and their purpose and struggles of science vs. faith.

    This would mean that the ‘doubling back’ the show has been doing will ultimately lead to season 6, the final season of the show, mirroring season 1 and having the castaways reliving their Oceanic 815 crash and arrival on Lost Island, but this time with entirely different experiences and consqeuences.

    What does this mean though for Judaism? Does it mean that there is no fate and no argument can be made that our life is out of our hands (as the ‘you can’t change the future’ argument holds). I think the writers have a very interesting choice to make (or most likely have already made) in terms of how they view free will.

    Anyone else find it interesting that the first Dharma station, where the idea of finding the Island was first derived and where Jack, Ben, Kate, Hurley and Desmond were briefed on the Ajira flight by physicist Eloise Hawking, was located…under a church?

    Who will win the eternal argument? John, who believes that there is a destiny to be fulfilled and nothing can be done to stop it, or Jack who was always the ‘action man’ who would concoct plans to drive themselves to their own destiny.

    We’ll see…

  3. The Doctor

    Let’s see…

    John Locke died and rose again.
    Christian Shepherd [a symbolic name if ever] died and rose again.
    Richard never dies.
    Charlie won’t stay dead.

    I’m not sure who’s mashgiach; but as Hurley would say “Even I don’t believe this stuff, dude…”

  4. Jeremy Moses Post author

    Well, Christian is obviously very much like Jesus (when Jack opens his casket, it’s empty). But for me, Christian reminds me of Elijah. I’ll get into that another time I think though.

  5. olivia

    john’s case of death is not to be related with dat of ben,because little ben was short,but healed by the island.john locke is dead.and worse,his body was possesed by the black smoke.

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