I’ve loved Star Wars since i was a kid. As such, it was only natural that i watch The Mandalorian, Season 2 when it came out. And something stuck with me from the second to last episode. Something that can point us to Jesus Christ. Something that can inform our preaching and proclamation and application of the Gospel.
In the episode, the Mandalorian is forced to work with a man he had previously helped put in prison. The man (Migs Mayfeld) is an ex-Imperial serving time under the New Republic. (The Empire and the New Republic are mortal enemies.) The New Republic marshall informs Mayfeld at the beginning of the episode that there is nothing in this mission for him; once complete, he will return to prison.
As the episode progresses, Mayfeld and the Mandalorian talk with each other. At one point, the conversation turns to beliefs. Mayfeld argues that the Empire and the New Republic are no different, especially to the natives of the various planets affected by the conflict. “If you were born on Mandalore, you believe one thing,” he says, “if you’re born on Alderaan, you believe somethin’ else.” He concludes his discussion by stating, “If you can make it through your day and still sleep at night, you’re doin’ better than most” (12:33-13:26).
This is important because the episode is titled: “The Believer.”
By the end of the episode, Mayfeld comes to believe that the Empire and the New Republic are vastly different entities. He proves this by destroying resources valuable to the continuing life of the Empire. And he justifies this decision with the comment, “We all need to sleep at night” (30:23). His belief is so apparent that the New Republic marshall considers him dead and allows him to go free. She says, “You know, it’s too bad Mayfeld didn’t make it out alive back there. . . . Looked to me like [he] died in the refinery explosion” (31:49-32:04). Mayfeld is stunned to hear this decision.
But what does this have to do with Jesus Christ and the Gospel?
I’m glad you asked. Paul says something comparable in Romans 6:11.
So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
First, Jesus Christ died on the cross. The only way we can consider ourselves dead to sin is by believing in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. Other passages in Paul’s epistles explain this truth clearly: Romans 7:4, 6; Galatians 2:19; Colossians 2:20, 3:3.
We must believe this Gospel to be counted “dead.” And at the end of the day, apart from Christ, it doesn’t matter what we consider ourselves; what matters is how we are considered in the eyes of the Law (God). Mayfeld could have considered himself dead, but if the marshall—his judge—didn’t see it that way, then he would still be returning to prison at the mission’s conclusion. Like Mayfeld, we should be stunned that God counts us dead to sin and alive in Christ.
Therefore, we must believe that we are dead to sin. We must live and act as a result of this reality. We can’t walk around forever as if we are still prisoners in our sin. Mayfeld walked away as a free man; other than his initial disbelief at being free to go, he walked away. He didn’t insist on going back to prison like we do when we refuse to live in the freedom from sin that Christ provides (cf. Romans 6:11-14; Galatians 5:1). We must take advantage of the life of freedom Jesus offers us by our faith as believers.
Second, our preaching and proclamation of the Gospel must include this truth: counted dead; made alive. Since a necessary corollary of preaching involves our relationship to the faith community (the local church), we must preach that as brothers and sisters in-Christ who consider ourselves “dead to sin,” we must also consider one another “dead to sin.”
This means that as believers we don’t hold one another’s sins against them. If Christ counted them dead to sin, then so must we; if Christ counted them alive to God, then so must we. We must free them from the laws of our expectation and bitterness, remembering that when Christ died, so also did they.
This should be the most important thing when it comes to fellowship in the local church. We shouldn’t divide over political opinions, favorite sports teams, or even favorite hobbies (or TV shows). We should find camaraderie and fellowship in the fact that we are all declared “dead to sin and alive to God” by faith in Jesus Christ. This reality should unite us more closely than anything else in all creation. We must daily encourage one another, through the confession and forgiveness of sin, that we are already “dead” to sin. This should be the lifeblood of the local church. It is, after all, the Gospel.
Mayfeld began by saying all people believe different things, and at the end of the day all that matters is being able to sleep. Over the course of the episode, he became convinced that not all beliefs are equal, and he literally destroyed his old master to prove that his beliefs had changed (cf. Romans 6:6-7; Galatians 5:24).
Similarly, when it comes to worldviews, all people believe different things, but at the end of the day, only one thing matters: Eternal life through Jesus Christ. And for those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ, eternal life is already ours!
Let’s increasingly believe it for ourselves, offer grace to our fellow Christians who still struggle with sin, and offer it to the world that is drowning in a sea of sin.
In this with you.
Soli Deo Gloria
Thanks for reading.