Frodo Baggins: The Sin Bearer (Part I)
” I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”
~ Frodo Baggins & Gandalf The Grey, The Fellowship Of The Ring ~
Frodo Baggins is one of many Christ Figures portrayed in The Lord of the Rings. The character of Frodo Baggins is one however, that illustrates the sin Jesus Christ bore on the cross perhaps more intimately than any other Lord of the Rings character.
The One Ring & Sin
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…”
~ Inscription Of The One Ring ~
The One Ring’s inscription carries a frightening message that reflects the object’s power. Even more importantly, it reveals the terrible might of the one who created it, Sauron. Try as the races of dwarves, elves, and men might to control it they simply cannot wield it.
The One Ring bears a striking likeness to the powers of Satan. For it is in the Devil’s nature to deceive and mislead us to believing that we can have all the power and authority over our lives in order to dictate right and wrong, turning even our purest intentions into something evil.
The power inside this once piece of jewelry is so alluring, much like forbidden fruit that various characters in the Lord of the Rings fall prey to its allure.
- Gollum – Smeagol: Killed his best friend for the ring and has been seeking it since it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins.
- Boromir: Nearly betrayed Frodo by trying to take the ring for his own hoping to use its power to help the people of Gondor.
- Denethor: Furious with his own son, Boromir, for not taking the ring and bringing it to Gondor where it could be kept safe under lock and key. Only to be used when the utmost need was presented.
- Arathorn II: Bound himself to the ring and even those of his line due to his love for the ring and it’s power after taking the journey to Mordor to destroy it and being unable to.
- Bilbo Baggins: Lashed out at both Gandalf and Frodo, whom are very near and dear to his heart.
When Frodo chose to bear the weight of the ring, he chose to bear the burdens of Middle Earth upon himself. The Ring constantly tempted him as well as tormented him. Surely there had to be moments in which Frodo was tempted to walk away from the difficult journey before him. Even in the very end, Frodo found himself preyed upon by the temptation to keep the One Ring for himself as others had before him. It is only when Frodo manages to get the ring to Mount Doom and loses it in a fight with Gollum that the burden upon his shoulders is ended and the whole of Middle Earth are saved.
It is for these reasons that Frodo can be regarded as a Christ figure. For when we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, especially in those final hours… there is a likeness to Tolkien’s Frodo Baggins. Frodo’s constant struggle within himself and the forces of good and evil could represent the very real struggles of Jesus Christ.
Jesus & Frodo: Pass The Cup
Luke 22:35-44 King James Version (KJV)
35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. 39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus bore the greatest burden of all. That burden, was the world’s sin. In order to save the world, Jesus had to lay down his life and die in one of the most excruciating ways known to man. Given Jesus is and was still human, he was afraid. In his darkest hour….he admitted that fear. Yet, Jesus remained a servant of God. He remained God’s perfect lamb and gave His life so you and I might be saved from the eternal fires of Hell and damnation.
Frodo bore the weight of the lives of Middle Earth around his neck. For if he were not to destroy the ring, it is likely no one would have. Men were easily corrupted. Elves, while wisest and fair of the races too found themselves susceptible to the ring’s charms. It was a task that was appointed Frodo, and as the ring bearer…there was no one else that could do it. When things began to grow hard and Frodo started to question the loyalty of his friends, he was in a pretty lonely place. It is also during those times he had to ask…why did it come to me? Understandably too, he took that time to wish it away. Yet for all his wishing…Frodo pressed on, and made his way through Moria on to Mordor.