In the MCU they are called “Easter Eggs.” In the bible it’s foreshadowing.
MCU = Marvel Cinematic Universe. The increasing catalog of superhero films and shows produced by Marvel Studios based on the Marvel comics. I haven’t watched all of them, but I’ve watched enough to kind of know the major themes running through a lot of the story lines. But I’m not so familiar with them that I can spot the “Easter Eggs” they contain.
Easter Eggs? Yeah, that’s the term used for hidden references, clues, or inside jokes within a movie or show, detected only by diehard fans, which refer to another movie or show or storyline. Think of it as a cinematic “Where’s Waldo” where Waldo could be anything from any other MCU movie. I never spot Waldo.
But I am kind of a diehard fan of the Bible. And it contains it’s own sort of “Easter eggs.” Hidden references to great truths in places you might not expect them. Case in point? A gospel Easter egg within the story of Absalom, son of king David.
Context? After Absalom murders his half-brother, Ammon, because Ammon raped Absalom’s sister, Tamar, he flees from his father, David, hiding out in Gershur for three years (2Sam. 13). How’s that for a dysfunctional family and a twisted plot — a dark buffet which puts on the table the wickedness of man’s heart and the evil of sin? But in the midst of it, there’s an Easter egg.
A confidant of David knows how much David misses his son, Absalom, and so he hires a lady to tell David a fictitious story about her two sons who had a fight, one killing the other. She pleads with David to intervene on behalf of her surviving son and rescue him from her clan who want to put him to death for his crime. With the heart of a father, David promises this grieving mother that he will not allow the avenger of blood to increase her grief. “As the LORD lives,” David vowed, “not a hair of your son will fall to the ground” (2Sam. 14:1-11).
And then the woman drops the charade and tells David that her made-up story of her sons is really a parable about David and his sons. And she asks David why he would intervene on her fake son’s behalf but not for his own son?
The woman asked, “Why have you devised something similar against the people of God? When the king spoke as he did about this matter, he has pronounced his own guilt. The king has not brought back his own banished one. We will certainly die and be like water poured out on the ground, which can’t be recovered. But God would not take away a life; He would devise plans so that the one banished from Him does not remain banished.”
(2Samuel 14:13-14 CSB)
There! There’s the Easter egg! There’s the “New Testament” gospel hidden in an Old Testament story. God would devise plans so that the one banished from Him does not remain banished.
I know that plan! It’s the cross! It’s the Lamb of God, come to take away the sin of the world. It’s Immanuel, God with us, the Mediator between God and man, the One who through His own once for all sacrifice made possible eternal reconciliation.
But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace.
(Ephesians 2:13-14a CSB)
I may not be enough of an MCU fan to spot the Easter eggs in their movies, but by the Spirit’s enabling I sometimes spot the hidden glories of the GCU (God’s Covenantal Universe) within my bible.
By His grace. For His glory.