“I feel something so right doing the wrong thing and I feel something so wrong doing the right thing……. Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.”
These two verses appear in One Republic’s hit song “Counting Stars” and I like the contrast between the two lines for it demonstrates the dichotomy between right and wrong. As the lines suggests, remorse may never grip us for our misdeeds while we may balk at doing the right thing. We sometimes immerse in ours sins frequently that we feel numb to its influence and impact.
Spider-Man 3 illustrates vividly this good versus evil idea. A turning point in the movie depicts venom crawling onto Peter’s bed as he is resting-in his Spider-Man outfit. Images of Uncle Ben and Flint Marko haunt Peter while the venom attaches itself onto his red and blue suit, covering him from head to foot. The next scene has Peter in all black, clinging to a building wall. “Wow! This feels good,” he comments as the glass window reveals to him his new suit. Then, he leaps off the building and flies down to the streets, swinging faster than usual. He swoops over traffic to land onto a light fixture. Doffing his mask, he says, with a smile, “This is something else.”
The subway train scene where Spider-Man and Sandman fight for the second time represents Peter’s angry rampage and reflects his retributive spirit. The black suit controls his mind as he stops at nothing to defeat his uncle’s assailant. The fight ends with Peter drowning (literally) Sandman. He’s made of sand, after all!
Afterward, Peter confides in his Aunt May and informs her Spider-Man killed Flint Marko. This is where Aunt May gives Peter wise counsel on an important concept: forgiveness. When Peter argues Marko deserved death for killing Uncle Ben, she opines, ” I don’t think it’s for us to say whether a person deserves to live or die.” She explains to Peter Uncle Ben wouldn’t want them to live with revenge in their hearts. “It’s like a poison-it can take you over. Before you know it, it turns us into something ugly,” she adds. Interesting how she says this following Spider-Man and Sandman’s brawl in the previous scene. This is only the beginning of Peter’s transformation from good to bad. Venom turned Spider-Man into something ugly indeed!
The movie follows Peter’s transformation from his traditional red and blue suit to black. As the black suit engulfs Peter, anger and vengeance prompt him to carry himself in a confident, yet arrogant manner. Not only does venom dictate his personality and behavior, it hardens his heart to forgive Flint. This dramatic behavioral change can be seen in Scripture. Romans 8:5 asserts, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”
An intriguing observation: notice the American Flag in the background before the final duel between Spider-Man and Sandman with Venom. As Spider-Man races on a rooftop ledge, the American Flag appears behind him. Coincidence? I think not! The American flag presenting itself is, I believe, significant for it accentuates not only patriotism and freedom, but Spider-Man’s return to serving and protecting New York City residents.
The Scripture rings true for me as my mind tends to focus on worldly affairs, but I try to exit that concentration with daily Bible reading and meditation. Despite my foibles, the Holy Spirit speaks directly to me as it guides me in life. Like the movie suggests, sin tempts us to do things we would not do otherwise. My shortcomings may match other people’s, but I must not succumb to them for the Holy Spirit is stronger than my weaknesses. The Holy Spirit will intervene and lead me to Christ.