Google Productivity Pad: The Sword that Saves: an Easter Message

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sword that Saves: an Easter Message

As on most Easter Sundays I find myself reflective today. Particularly I have found myself thinking of the symbol of the Sword that Saves. This is in part because Apple's app of the week this week is a game called Horn. I don't download a lot of games onto my iOS devices as that would be likely to make me less productive on them. But reviews for Horn claimed it to be a cross of two of my favorite games: The Legend of Zelda and Infinity Blade. 

All three of these games have something in common beyond their gameplay elements which the reviewers were mainly refering to. That commonality is in their story lines and is the literary symbol I call, the sword that saves.

The sword that saves is a highly ubiquitous symbol in literature if you start looking for it. It is oxymoronical in nature because it takes an instrument of death and turns it into the means of salvation. You can probably see where I am going with this today, but let me give you a few examples to illustrate.

Horn: In Horn the symbol emerges very early, I have only passed to stages of the game and it is already there. In the story all of the people who were once happy villagers have been turned into strange android like titans called Pygon, this is refered to as the "Pygon curse". Fortunately Horn discovers a crystal that can destroy the titan form and free the people inside. From this crystal he fashions a special sword that will free people from the "curse".

nfinity blade: The name of this game gives away the fact that a sword is going to be an important symbol throughout it. The world of infinty blade is ruled by a group of tyrants known as the Deathless. It is the goal of the game to gain possesion a special sword, the infinity blade, that is the only thing that can kill the "deathless" and thus redeem the world.

The Legend of Zelda: In the game the world is taken over by an evil dark lord known as Ganondorf. Link, the hero, must find and wield the Master Sword, the only weapon that can kill the dark lord, in order to free the world.

I think if you are a Christian the symbolism here is pretty clear even if you have never thought of it before. There is a reason that medieval swords were shaped like a cross: the instrument of death, turned into the means of salvation. I think this so important, Christ died but His death was turned to our salvation because He lived again! The cross went from being the sign of torture and the horiffic demise of criminals to being the hope of nations.

The medieval sword, when turned upside down becomes the cross

Lest you should think that this symbol occurs only in video games I have a few more examples from literature.

King Arthur: One of the best known legends of all time is the story of King Arthur. At a time when England was broken a fractioned, a time rightly called the Dark Ages, there is legend of a miracle that appeared in the form of a sword, The sword in the stone. This sword was a representation of the redemption of England which was to come through Arthur. The sword in the stone makes the boy king by miracle not by force, and he redeems the nation.

The Lord of the Rings: Has a lot of swords, one in particular is important to this discussion of the Sword that Saves. That is Anduril the flame of the west. It is the blade reforged which redeems the line of the king, Aragorn, who in turn redeems the people. This is highly relevant to Easter because if Isildur is a representation of the fall of man than Aragon represents redemption. The sword Narsil was broken, but in its reforged form of Anduril it saves. 

Harry Potter: This is a story frought with symbolism, but the blade in particular is important and one of the best examples. The sword of Godric Gryffindor is a blade that actually becomes endued with the substance of death itself, basilisk venom, which can break horcruxes. This in particular leads well into our easter theme. Because it is the very instrument of Satan's victory, death, that is used to his ultimate demise.

There is so much more that I would love to say on this topic if I had the time and space. There are many, many, more examples that could be brought up that illustrate the Sword that Saves, and I would love for you to put any that you think of in the comments below. 

This has been just a brief discussion, and I know it is off somewhat from the normal topic of this blog. But, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the only reason any of us can truly live better is because of Easter and what Christ did that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment