How To Share Your Faith Using Madagascar
Zoo animals are complex creatures. Don't believe me? Well, check out the newly released DVD, Madagascar, which features David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett-Smith and others in a hilarious film about zoo animals, friendship and sacrifice.
The zoo animals wind up on some pretty crazy adventures when Marty the zebra tries to take a train ride to Connecticut and Alex, Gloria, and Melman try to go rescue him. OK, so maybe these guys are a little sheltered and don't know what the real world is really like...
So, this "trip" turns into them being shipped out of the country and the adventure starts from there. Along the way friendships are tested and tough decisions have to be made. It all ends happily (it's a cartoon right?) and every one leaves smiling.
So, how can you use a story about a freaked out giraffe, a nutty zebra, a finicky lion and a hippo with an attitude to share the Gospel? Eeeeeasy...but, I'm going to have to spoil the ending.
HERE COMES THE SPOILER!!
So, when the animals are finally on the island, Alex is pretty ticked at Marty for causing all of this and they have some pretty heated words (for a cartoon). Alex has a major anger problem, and probably needs therapy, but that will have to wait. The rift eventually gets settled, but then Alex starts getting hungry. Unfortunately, he never knew that his favorite food (steak) comes from his favorite friend (Marty a.k.a. Zebra). Eventually Alex begins seeing everything as a big juicy steak and he becomes a dangerous predator. In order to save his friends from himself, he quarantines himself on the predator side of the island. He has no clue how to provide for himself without hurting others. He pretty much gives himself over to a slow end to it all.
He does that just before the penguins show up with the ship they hijacked (a whole 'nuther story). Marty, Melman and Gloria think they're one boat ride away from home and are about to get on board to head home. However, Marty refuses to go without Alex and risks his life to venture over to the predator side to bring his buddy back. He almost becomes Foosa-dinner, but he does manage to get his friend back.
And Jesus goes where? Right there in the end. Picture the unreached as Alex: he's holed himself up away from Jesus thinking he knows the best way to do things and the best way to lead his life. Unfortunately, that's going to lead to nothing but a slow painful death, and for the unreached, an eternity apart from Christ is on the other side of that death.
Now picture Jesus as Marty: He's got the boat that's heading home and he doesn't want to leave anyone behind. Marty risked his life to bring Alex home, saying that friendship with Alex was worth risking his life. Jesus gave his life to bring us home, saying that losing his life was worth saving ours. He wants your friends to get on the boat and come home with him! (Unfortunately for Marty and Alex their boat is outta gas and not going anywhere. But when Jesus comes, we're all going with him!)
So, get your nutty friends together and watch four other nutty friends learn about true friendship and devotion. Then share with them the ultimate story of love and sacrifice...the Gospel of Jesus Christ.