Yes, I want to build a snowman, let it go, embrace the first time in forever, and discover if reindeer are really better than people. Let my new bedsheets with Anna and Elsa on them show that Frozen has quickly risen to the top of my extensive “I could watch this movie a million times” list – right up next to Tangled, Pride and Prejudice, Fired Up, Leap Year and Gladiator. Do I listen to the soundtrack on the regs? Is my showerhead getting sick of my renditions of all the songs in the movie? Do I gasp like a five-year-old every time one of the songs comes on? Invariably. But there is so much more to Frozen than a hilarious snowman, dreamy male lead, and catchy songs. Like in so many other blockbusters, the gospel peeks through myriad cracks in the icy storyline, proving that Jesus’s story of redemption is so engrained in all of our frozen hearts that it can’t help but emerge in our – well, everything! Including our movies!
Think of Elsa as us – she’s born a princess, daughter of a loving king and queen. But she’s different – capable of creating a winter wonderland which quickly turns from harmless diversion to dangerous threat. Her power to freeze is like sin. As attractive and fun as it may seem initially, sin not only separates us from God, but also from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of her power, Elsa was forced to “conceal, don’t feel.” Love became a closed door as she shut herself off from those she loved, aware of the danger of her power yet unable to control its vicelike grip on her icy hands. To quote Simon & Garfunkel, sin “like a cancer grows,” and repressive efforts only strengthened the power of Elsa’s condition.
Sin doesn’t simply gnaw on our hearts, robbing us of the Lord’s gift of a heart of flesh and attempting to revert it back to its original state as a heart of stone. Sin hurts those we love as Elsa unknowingly hurts her sister in the beginning of the movie. Afraid of her own power, Elsa flees. She abandons the sister who loves her most, taking refuge in “ice”olation (I see what you did there, Disney) to free herself from miserable years of stifling her icy tendencies. Similarly, we run from the one who loves us most – from our Daddy. What Elsa viewed as letting go actually transformed her physically from the conservative queen to a seductive woman – the type of lascivious figure often referenced in the old testament in comparison to sin. So attractive, yet so cold.
But here’s the sweet part. We run hard from our daddy. But He runs harder after us. Anna wasn’t about to let fear or the lies of her community keep her from pursuing her sister. She tracked her down, but despite their reunion in the ice castle, Elsa was still trapped by her powers. A sacrifice was needed to free her from her frozen prison – see where we’re going here? J
In a stellar climatic moment near the end, Anna chooses to give up her life for her sister. Elsa was enslaved not only to this cold curse, but also to the fear of hurting her loved ones. 1 John 4:18 asserts that “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Through her sacrifice, Anna’s frozen heart was melted by a love that drives out fear. Made new!
There’s so many other little ice blocks of gospel in Frozen – every time I watch it Jesus tells me more about Himself! Like how Hans was initially such a dreamboat, until Anna was at her weakest. Similarly, sin can seem so attractive and only when the Lord allows us to be broken down are we able to see death trap of sin beneath its shroud of attractiveness and charm.
Even Olaf’s line to Anna that “some people are worth melting for” is a sweet reminder that some people are worth dying for. We are those people, and we are worth dying for. Not by anything we did – in fact, there’s nothing we can do. Scripture tells us that we were hostile to God! But despite the icy walls we erect around our frozen hearts, God’s love melts us so hard. We’re worth melting for, because Jesus melted for us. He let His perfect being spill His precious blood, dripping off a grimy cross. Then he beat the living daylights out of death. Sucks to suck, Satan.
Even the rocks/trolls cry out the glory of God! Kristoff’s goofy family is capable of providing so much wisdom, consolation, and laughter, although they initially appear as inanimate and mossy objects. Sounds like another inanimate object – brought to life through the spirit-breathed words of the world’s greatest love story, action novel, and self-help book. The bible sometimes seems like a bunch of rocks – weighty words dropped ineffectively on our minds. But when the spirit moves, the Lord reminds us that these wordy pebbles are life and useful for teaching, rebuking and training in righteousness! Quick shout out to the Jesus Storybook bible. It’s the literary equivalent of the song “Fixer Upper” – hilarious, cute, and meaningful.
The story of redemption is everywhere! Because our Daddy put a Jesus-sized hole in our hearts that only He can fill! We’re trapped, cold, helpless and afraid. But the red-hot flame of the love of Christ isn’t about to let us freeze – the cold never bothered Him anyway.