Recently during this Halloween, my daughter and I were watching the movie “Coco”. The timing was appropriate because the movie commemorates the “Day of the dead”, the Mexican holiday – “Dia de los meurtos” that happens to fall on Halloween. The movie is uplifting and touching but I was amazed to once again see the love of Jesus that was hidden in the story.
Let’s see each part of the story and their corresponding fulfillment in Christ:
- Miguel is a little boy in Mexico who lives with his family of shoemakers. Miguel’s grandmother is “Coco” and her father was a musician but was hated by the family because they thought he left them for his career. The family wants Miguel to be a shoemaker, but the little boy loves music. On the Day of Dead, the people honor the dead so that their spirits can be kept alive forever. The family wants Miguel to be a shoemaker and leave his passion for music. But Miguel desperately wants to play music at the festival. Miguel follows his idol “Ernesto De la Cruz” who is the most famous musician in their history. Miguel mistakenly thinks that De La Cruz is his ancestor whom he can follow to become a musician.
- He doesn’t have money for a guitar therefore he steals the guitar from De La Cruz’s memorial tomb in the cemetery. At that moment, Miguel is struck with a curse. Miguel becomes “dead” and enters the land of the dead. He can now see all the dead people. Miguel’s curse is similar to Adam’s fall because Adam tried to attain the “blessings” of God by trying in his own efforts. Adam died spiritually by his mistake.
- Miguel enters the land of the dead and meets his ancestors, but they hate music too! Miguel needs the “family blessing” to go back to the living. He needs “salvation” like the Adamic race. But his ancestors tell him that they can only bless him on one condition – that he gives up music! Miguel cannot do this because music is his life! This is so similar to the people under the law. The Law demands perfect obedience to bless man, and man cannot keep the law! It’s similar to the rich young ruler’s inability to be saved in his effort.
- Miguel ends up meeting Hector, a person who is desperately trying to meet his family in the land of the living. He is unable to do so because his family hates him and refuse to remember him. Miguel befriends Hector and manage to meet the great musician De La Cruz. Miguel is so happy to have finally met his supposed great great grandfather De La Cruz. Just as he is about to get the “family blessing” from De La Cruz, the story takes a dramatic twist. The truth is revealed – Hector was actually a musician himself who wrote all of De La Cruz’s songs. But De La Cruz killed Hector because he was leaving the band and going back to his family to be with his precious daughter Coco. Miguel realizes that Hector actually is his great great grandfather who actually loved his family and was killed for no fault of his own. This shows the story of Christ. De La Cruz is a symbol of Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ. Hector is a symbol of Christ who died for no fault of his own. Miguel spent a lot of effort in trying to get his blessing but he ends up meeting the liar and betrayer De La Cruz who almost kills him. It’s a symbol of people failing under the law and it’s condemnation.
- But De La Cruz is exposed for all his crimes and he dies – just like Judas. But now Hector is almost going to die because “Coco” cannot remember him anymore due to her old age. Miguel is also about to die because the curse is coming to full completion. In the climax of the movie, Hector gives Miguel the family blessing UNCONDITIONALLY even if he has to die for Miguel. The blessing comes to Miguel and they tell him to pursue his desire of music. This is a symbol of God our Father, who died for us on the cross through Christ to give us the “Family blessing” freely. Daddy God gave up His desire on the cross so that our desires are fulfilled!
- Miguel returns with the blessing to his family on earth and sings to his grandmother Coco. The song he sings is called “Remember Me”. She finally remembers her father, Hector – and as a result, he lives forever! This is the symbol of Christ’s resurrection that has saved those who believe! The song “remember me” is a symbol of Christ telling us to “remember Him” – He died for us to make us righteous. He became a curse to bless us freely!
- Miguel becomes a musician and lives happily on earth – enjoying the blessings! The curse of Adam has been reversed thanks to the love of Daddy God in giving us the blessing freely!
This is so wonderful! The Gospel was hidden in the story of the movie of Mexican culture. It tells me that God whispers His love to the various peoples of the world.
The boy ran after the law and died but when he met Jesus, he was made alive! He gets the blessing from the one who died and who now lives forever! The boy entered the land of the dead – a picture of the New Jerusalem to find the river of life (Revelation 22:1-4) and the curse was removed ! This is a picture of believers being saved by Christ.