A world without hope. Without law. Without mercy. That’s the apocalyptic world inhabited by Mad Max, the classic Australian action hero who returns to the big screen from May 15. We haven’t seen road warrior Max since 1985’s Beyond Thunderdome. But don’t expect too much to have changed. Sure, Max has transformed from Mel Gibson into modern tough-guy Tom Hardy, and special effects have been radically upgraded. But the fourth Mad Max film, Fury Road, looks set to be just like its predecessors – a simple, high-octane tale of primal people trying to survive in a world without hope, law or mercy.

Also starring Charlize Theron and the kinds of anarchic marauders that Max always fights, Mad Max: Fury Road will be like one long chase sequence. Where the first Mad Max was driven by vengeance, its sequels have been stoked by humans desperately fighting to stay alive. Trying to survive in a near-future that’s devastated by fuel shortages. As control of scarce resources dominates everyday life, Fury Road will hone in on those who hotly pursue it.

Perhaps, like me, you are busting to see the mega-action of Fury Road. Your adrenalin already is pumping, because Mad Max is back for demolition derbies in the desert. Isn’t it odd, then, how in real life we aren’t entertained by the sort of stuff Fury Road revs up? Because who wants to live in a world without hope, law and mercy? While spending a few cinematic hours with Mad Max can offer engaging fantasy, no-one wants to be a full-time resident of Fury Road. Things can be tough enough out here, in our real world.

Speaking of which: How many of you are actively helping to fight off the things of a “Mad Max world”? On a regular basis, plenty of Christians strive to combat the lack of hope, justice or mercy – in their local community, across our nation and around the globe.

Fight for what’s right

Driven by Christian truth and convictions, God’s people everywhere should lead such movements. We should oppose anything that goes against the One who has lavished our world with mercy, justice and other unchanging elements of his character.

But we don’t just do this because the world of Mad Max is a place we don’t want to live in.

We witness and serve for the things of God, because our words and actions point back to where mercy and hope flow from. To the God whose Son we all need, more than anything else.

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). No greater display of mercy has ever occurred, than God allowing His Son Jesus to provide the only way to salvation from sin.

Anything a Christian does for mercy or justice in this world should be a signpost back to the “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3) that is found in being a genuine follower of Jesus. Because no matter how much help we provide to anyone or anything, the greatest help we can offer is assisting others to grasp that ‘living hope”. Helping them make their own choice to take hold of the only hope that any of us can bank on.

Salvation through Jesus is an ironclad promise of God. No matter how much Mad Max: Fury Road promises a world without hope, law or mercy, God’s promises in Jesus are the only ones that will ultimately stand (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Ben McEachen

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