This is one of my favorite scenes from The Legend of Korra.
Mythos have a powerful effect to capture our imagination. C. S. Lewis once remarked, “In the enjoyment of a great myth, we come nearest to experiencing as a concrete what can otherwise be understood only as an abstraction.”
From a biblical perspective, I considered Raava as akin to the Holy Spirit for the believer. They both guide their partners in a conflict that has deep consequences. The Spirit, in particular, guides the believer to wage a spiritual warfare for the heart and soul of our neighbors. A war that dates back to before humanity’s origins if we are to believe that Satan rebelled against God in a time before humanity was made, and subsequently incited our original parents to join him in the Garden of Eden.
Vaatu states: “I lived ten thousand lifetimes before the first of your kind crawled out of the mud. It was I who broke through the divide that separated the plane of Spirits from the material world.”
Vaatu reminds me of Satan, an old adversarial spirit who has been around even before humanity’s origins. As a fallen angel, he would surpass humans in both intellect and power, and although not God, he has been with humanity long enough to know how we work. Satan did not keep to his proper bounds as an angel before God, and somehow his rebellion spread to the material world where we humans live.
Vaatu goes on to say: “To hate me is to give me breath. To fight me is to give me strength.”
Now when it comes to our warfare with our flesh, sin, the world, and Satan, the rules of our engagement are not quite the same as what Vaatu states. We should hate Satan and fight Satan, but not with the conventional tools that the world offers. We cannot be lackadaisical about our war with sin, but actively seek its death.
Now we do not have awesome bending abilities like the protagonist Wan does, but we have other tools at our disposal in our spiritual warfare against our flesh, sin, the world, and Satan.
The Word of God (Bible) is the Sword of the Spirit.
Prayer is radioing the commander in chief for support.
Churches are bases where believers are meant to support one another in this fight.
Pastors and other biblical teachers help equip the saints to fight the good fight well.
Next, I love Wan’s dedication to seeing the fight through. Even when Raava warns him that continuing to depend on her aid will kill him, Wan still insists that he sees this fight through even if it costs him his life. His self-sacrificial attitude emulates Christ in that respect. There is always something powerful in being willing to pursue the greater good even at the cost of your own life.
Similar to the death and resurrection motif in the Bible, just when you think Vaatu will win, Wan and Raava pull off a synchronization that turns the tide of the battle to their favor. The night is always darkest before the dawn.
Satan killed Christ, the long awaited prophesied Savior of mankind who would release us from Satan’s bondage. One would think that all hope would be lost and that we would be stuck in our sin and misery forever, but thanks be to God, the Spirit raised Christ from the dead, conquering sin and the grave (Romans 8:11).
I greatly admired the synchronization that Wan and Raava achieve near the end of this video. The synchronization makes me wonder how believers would be like if we were better in tune with the Spirit who dwells within us. Our ministry would probably be as fruitful as the early Christians depicted in the Book of Acts.
Finally, the role that the Avatar plays in acting as the bridge between the spiritual and material world reminds me a lot of how Christ acts as the appointed mediator between God and man. Even in his own humanity, Jesus acts as the bridge between the spiritual and material world as his incarnation essentially represents the intersection between the two worlds.