The Wizard Of Oz is a cinematic classic that is full of Christian allegory. It makes a great tool for witnessing to family and friends. We’ll give you a few simple ideas that you can use to share powerful Christian truths as you enjoy this masterpiece of the silver screen. Join us for Finding Christ In Cinema.
Though not originally intended as an allegorical Christian story, The Wizard Of Oz film is so overflowing with principles from the biblical text that it is hard to narrow them down. In fact this is the first of a two-part podcast! As you listen to this episode the main points we wanted you to remember when sharing the Christian themes with loved-ones are these:
The Ozian Trio
Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are much like Moses. How? Pretense. That is, a pre-existing condition that assumes influence over present circumstances. Each of these three characters believed that:
- They were missing something
- This lack directly affected their past, present, and future
Just like Moses. When God called Moses to return to Egypt and deliver the children of Israel from bondage what was his response?
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue- tied, and my words get tangled. – Exodus 4:10 [NLT]
Moses resisted because he was “missing” something. But that didn’t bother God. He used Moses in a way that showed the entire world God’s power of deliverance and salvation. Much as the Ozian trio were integral parts of “shaking things up” in the Wizard Of Oz despite their pretense.
Just Follow The Yellow Brick Road
Another ever-present character in The Wizard Of Oz is the Yellow Brick Road. When one wants to reach a destination they need a way to get there. It may take the form of a trail; a street; a railway; a shipping route; a flight path; or any number of different courses. But they are all ways of getting from one place to another.
Jesus is the way to the God of Heaven. He is the only way. On the night which Jesus was betrayed He told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them, and that when it was ready He would come back to get them. He even told them that they knew the way to where he was going. But when Thomas said “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way,” Jesus replied:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 [NLT]
Remember when Dorothy was in Munchkin Country – wanting to get back home – and the good witch Glenda told her that she needed the help of The Wizard Of Oz? She said that in order to get to The Wizard all Dorothy had to do was follow the Yellow Brick Road. However, in Dorothy’s mind that was much too simple! Many things can happen along a road. And she interjected with, “But what happens if I…” To which Glenda reiterates, “Just follow the Yellow Brick Road.”
Glenda’s instructions are simple. Dorothy has to trust that this road will lead to her destination. No matter what else happens if she stays on the Yellow Brick Road she will reach her goal. And this Yellow Brick Road speaks of Jesus. In the early days Christianity was more commonly known as the Way (Acts 19:9,23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, 22 ). Christians were followers of the Way. The same Way that Jesus spoke of in that John 14 passage we’ve already read. The Yellow Brick Road is the Way. The Yellow Brick Road is Jesus. And the Yellow Brick Road is the Christian walk.
For through him [Jesus] we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access in one Spirit to the Father – Ephesians 2:18 [ESV]
Finding Christ In Cinema
In Finding Christ In Cinema we dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. We take a closer look at the stories they tell and see if we find the face of Jesus looking back. Together we explore the deeper meanings of these films; their plots and their twists; the characters and their choices; and see how we can relate them to the gospel of salvation and ultimately our Christian walk.
For complete show notes and other episodes of FCC visit the Finding Christ In Cinema website.
Click on the audio player at the top of the post to listen to this episode or, use the links below for other ways to hear Finding Christ In Cinema.
QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in The Wizard Of Oz? Let us know.