As I waited (very impatiently!) I began to notice the Biblical references in the lyrics of the song being played.
After some googling I discovered it is called ‘The man comes around’ by Johnny Cash and I have posted a YouTube link below in case you would like a listen.
Although some of the language in it is a little (okay very) confused, the song is essentially about life after death and about the return of Jesus to judge the world.
The first verse says:
There’s a man going around taking names.
And he decides who to free and who to blame.
Everybody won’t be treated all the same.
There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down.
When the man comes around.
The lyrics remind us that there are two possible outcome when we stand before Jesus.
For you partake of that last offered cup,
Or disappear into the potter’s ground.
The first reference is from the last supper when Jesus says that he won’t drink wine again ‘until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom’. The second reference is to Judas who betrayed Jesus. When Judas realized what he had done, he killed himself and the money he had been paid was used to buy the potters field as a burial-place for those who were outside of God’s chosen people.
Do we want to spend eternity with or without Jesus?
The song reminds us that Jesus’ return is coming and that it could be soon. There is a line about ‘virgins trimming their wicks’ which is a reference to the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25). The women are all awaiting the bridegroom but when he takes a long time to arrive they fall asleep. Upon his arrival at night only half of these women had enough oil in their lamps and so some end up missing the marriage feast. The point of the parable is that Jesus’ followers need to be ready for his return.
As I listened to the song, the question I was asking myself was why has this song been chosen to play at the end of Logan?
In the X-men/Marvel film universe, we have only ever seen a Wolverine who doesn’t age and who is indestructible but all this changes in Logan which is set in the future. The film contains an old and tired Wolverine whose body no longer heals as quickly or completely as it once did. Heis in pain and he just wants to be left alone but all that changes when he is the only one left who can protect a young girl from the people who are trying to capture her.
I won’t spoil the film by saying if Wolverine survives or not but the question of his mortality is one of the dominant themes in the film.
As I listened to ‘The Man comes around’ I was reminded of how fragile life is even for someone like Wolverine who I had previously assumed would live forever.
I wonder if the choice of the song is meant to provoke us to consider whether Wolverine is worthy of salvation or not?
Although he is such a flawed and pained character he always does the right thing in the end, but will this be enough ‘when the man comes around?’
If the question that we are supposed to be left with is:
Is Wolverine worthy of Salvation?
then the person who is asking that question doesn’t understand the Christian faith.
Christians are saved by faith in Jesus, not by us having to earn our salvation.
If Wolverine was real, this should give him hope because as much as he is a hero, he is also a man who has done some terrible things and this is alluded to throughout the film. ‘Logan’ is incredibly brutal and it is filled with death, destruction, blood and carnage that remind us that Wolverine is far from innocent.
The chorus contains the line:
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
This is a quote from Acts 26.14 where Paul is telling the story of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. ‘Pricks’ is describing ‘Ox goads’ which were pointed sticks that were used as cattle prods. Paul (or Saul as he was known then) spent time persecuting Christians but when he encountered Jesus he understood how wrong he had been and that essentially he had been kicking against Jesus’ prods to move him in the right direction.
In that moment Saul’s life changed as he stopped kicking and fighting against God and he started working with God by following his directions.
Saul’s life was changed forever but how about ours? Are we kicking and resisting the will of God or will we surrender to him?
When Jesus returns, will we be ready? Have we trusted in him to save and forgive us or are we foolishly trying to become perfect enough to gain our own salvation?
If you are interested you can read the full lyrics of ‘The man comes around’ by clicking here.
These are my thoughts of why ‘The man comes around’ might have been chosen to end the film. What do you think? Feel free to comment below.
Incidentally, the end credits scene never came because it turns out that there isn’t one in this film but if you watch the movie this end credits song really is worth listening to.