“Ignorance is Bliss.”

Have you experienced Cypher’s kiss, the sting of someone’s betrayal? It hurts, no question. However, if you turn the situation over to God, He can use even the worst  attack to propel you toward your destiny, making the devil wish that he never messed with you in the first place. When you find yourself feeling like David who wrote prophetically of Jesus betrayal, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9 NASB), just remember that you have a calling, a purpose for living on your life. Paul says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NASB). God created us with specific talents and abilities that we would need to fulfill that calling. The enemy knows that much. However, since he isn’t all knowing like God, he doesn’t know precisely what God has in mind for you. This means he has to shoot essentially blindly at you, hoping he will mess up God’s plan. To do that, the devil often uses a Cypher, someone you think you can trust, but is in fact so consumed by his or her own interests and greed that he or she will turn on you for their own gain. At this point I’d like to say I find it interesting that the Wachowskis siblings, who wrote and directed The Matrix, chose the name Cypher for the name of the character that I think is meant to represent Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ betrayer. Although I don’t believe the Wachowskis intended The Matrix trilogy to be taken as a direct biblical allegory about Jesus, the film definitely has some messianic overtones. For example, at the beginning of The Matrix, Neo is told by the person who buys a computer disk from him, “Hallelujah! You’re my savior, man–my own personal Jesus Christ.” Now back to the character Cypher, who betrays the resisters as a group to the Agents and not Neo specifically (although he does attempt to kill him directly later on). The word “cypher” has a number of meanings and each one does relate to the character Cypher. A cypher is a numerical code which is used to create secret messages. These are usually used during wartime to transmit orders and reports back in forth. These messages that have been altered using a particular cypher so that if the enemy intercepted one of these transmissions, it would be indecipherable if they did not have the proper code to, you got it, decipher, the message. The whole point of sending encoded messages is to keep an enemy from knowing what you are up to. That is exactly what the Agents attempt to do with Cypher, use him as a hidden threat. However, the Oracle knew what the Agents were up to and although she did not tell Neo all the details, she gave him enough information to protect Morpheus and in doing so Neo came to realize his true identity and purpose. So even though the Agents thought they were in control and could use Morpheus to get the codes to attack Zion, they actually played right into the Oracle’s hands, who wants to see man and machine to work together. So even though it looked like the Agents were using Cypher, his actions actually worked towards the Oracle’s purposes. Believe it  or not, we can see something similar happened to Jesus in His relationship with Judas Iscariot. The disciples were shocked by his betrayal, even though Jesus warned them about it ahead of time (John 13:18, 21). So when Judas led soldiers and temple officials to Jesus, the disciples’ reaction was that of anger and surprise, with Simon Peter going so far as to cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus (John 18). However, Jesus was quick to say, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11 NIV). Jesus reacted this way because as terrible as Judas’ actions were, they were necessary. He knew he was, in the words of John the Baptist, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV). He knew that He was called to be sacrificed for humanity’s sins, the ultimate Passover lamb. He did not hold any ill will toward those who were about to kill Him. He even healed Malchus’ ear (Luke 22:51) and most famously said as He hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” even while His executioners were dividing up His clothes (Luke 23:34 NIV).

Jesus’ attitude towards those who hurt Him is a key lesson for us if we are to grow from the experience of being hurt, by realizing that people who mistreat us are being blinded by the enemy, that if they realized what they were doing, they wouldn’t do it. One of my favorite Bible teachers, Joyce Meyer, put it this way. “Hurt people, hurt people. They usually don’t have a very good view of themselves. So they try to build themselves up at the expense of others. Cypher is a good example. Apparently he does not think he’s important. We can guess at this by the code name he uses, Cypher. Yes, he can read the code of the Matrix. We know this because he tells Neo that when he sees the Matrix in computer code form he sees, “blond, brunette, redhead.” However, the word cypher also literally means “zero” or “a nobody.” And what does he want in exchange for giving the Agents Morpheus? Not thirty pieces of silver, but he wants to be put back in the Matrix with his old memories erased, to be rich AND…to be “someone important, like an actor.” We know of course this plans blows up in Cypher’s face, literally, when he’s blown away. However, understanding someone like Cypher can help us have compassion for them, which is a key to forgiveness. Knowing that people who hurt us don’t know what they are doing, or why they do it helps us to set aside the instinct to get back at them. Some people are just plain afraid to face their own pain, so much so they would seek to hurt another before facing their inner agony. They are in so much denial that they protect their self-imposed ignorance at all cost. They would rather give over to the enemy who would blind them to reality, regardless of who gets hurt. Many turn to alcohol or drugs to find a chemical induced matrix to shield them from knowledge of their problems.

However, thank God there is a a Someone who can take anyone who feels like a zero, a nobody, and help them see they are a somebody, somebody who is loved by Love itself, Jesus who faced betrayal and abuse to make His love available to everyone. And when you can see people who hurt you as people who Jesus loves, that is when you will truly step into your destiny, the destiny of being a person who walks and talks like Jesus. You will not feel the need to hide from reality or from pain because you will know that God is with you. When you open your heart to God, you will be able to respond with gentleness, calling out to God to forgive your enemy for trying to protect his or her blissful ignorance.

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