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Frodo and the Ring of Power


“If the ring is to set out, it must go soon. But those who go with it must not count on their errand being aided by war or force. They must pass into the domain of the Enemy far from aid. Do you still hold your word, Frodo, that you will be the Ring-bearer?” “I do,” said Frodo. “I will go with Sam.”


As a Christian I have found numerous themes played out in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings", but none so grand as Frodo and the Ring of Power. When I began to think of this, and the fact that the Ring was something evil, I started thinking about events and circumstances that surrounded the Ring, especially as it related to Frodo. The dynamics are awesome.

In the Bible we are told that Adam and Eve were given just one thing that they must never do. That's it. Only one, and they blew it. Through their sin all of mankind was injected with the poison of the judgment against their actions. Not simply because of the crime committed by Adam and Eve, but because the poison that corrupted everyone born from them. For it was this poison that causes every evil in the world. Yet One came to bear all of those sins and put them to death on the cross. Think of the weight of this burden, the pain Jesus bore, as each day He drew nearer and nearer to Calvary's mountain. From the moment He was born, throughout His ministry, and especially those last days and hours, the pain, the burden became increasingly wearisome and difficult for Him to bear. At any time He could have given up. At any time He could have just left the rest of us hanging and said, "Forget it. I'm not doing this."

Frodo too, inherited the Ring, not by his own will, but by the wisdom of Gandalf, following the thievery of Bilbo. As it turned out the Ring is powerful, but it is evil ... and it cannot be destroyed. It must be unmade. Frodo finds himself in the undesirable position of being the one who must bear the Ring to the one place where it can be destroyed, or as Tolkien puts it, "unmade". Each step Frodo takes brings him not only closer to his goal, but closer to the evil of the Ring itself. The burden of that evil almost overtakes him in the end. The struggle at last, within the Cracks of Mount Doom, are similar to that of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene, for Frodo does not want to part with the Ring. So great has its power grown over him that he finds he cannot part with it. In the garden Jesus also faced the same struggle and cried out in prayer, "Father, if it be Your will, take this cup from Me; but not My will, let Thine be done." Frodo didn't have the divine within him to sustain him at that point, but Tolkien does something interesting, he has given us a villian who has been search to retrieve this Ring for many years. When Frodo decides he will keep the Ring and slips it on his finger, this villian, Gollum, wrestles with Frodo, takes the Ring and perishes in the fires of Mount Doom with the Ring of power. So it was, one might say, that Judas actually helped Jesus by placing Him in a position where He would be sent to the cross. Jesus died and was resurrected, Judas committed suicide. It was amazingly like Frodo, who after accepting death as the only alternative for himself, found it was only a beginning. And Gollum, who stole the Ring, found that what he had hunted to retrieve all those years, in the end only brought him death.

Sin brings death, but thank God Jesus took our sins and "unmade" them. It's an interesting word Tolkien uses. For God did not simply destroy our sins, but put our sins to death. In doing so, He unmade the sin in our life by "remaking" us in the likeness of His Son.

     "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4,5)