1997 was a very odd year for me. I remember transitioning from living in sunny California to the rather temporate Illinois environment because my father had recieved a job transfer. It was right around that time that the ultimate video game was releases; Final Fantasy VII. I played the predessor to that game till my fingers about fell off, so I could not wait to play this newest title. Of course, all of that would need to be put on the backburner because of the family’s move.
To be honest, I never did end up getting Final Fantasy VII, or a Playstation for that matter. As may dad always said, “We are a Nintendo family, so Nintendo systems are what we get.” So, of course we got a Nintendo 64. The system was great, and I’m not complaining, but it didn’t help me get any closer to the game that I desperately wanted to play. What did help me were friends, new people that I met who enjoyed video games about as much as I did. Most of them had both a Playstation and Final Fantasy VII, so I was able to enjoy the game in the comfort of other people’s homes.
As an adult, I was able to pick up the re-release of the original Final Fantasy VII on the Nintendo Switch (I’m still a Nintendo guy). As I watched that first scene where Cloud hops off the train, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Man, this game has not aged well at all.” The blocky, polygon 3D figures looked clunky and cheap compaired to what the video game market delivers now. It is hard to beleive that this was seeen as the pinnicle of games graphics in the late 90’s. The story within the game was still incredible, but all the nostalgia in the world couldn’t make this game look any better. No, it would take an entire overhaul of the game itself to fix the visual flaws and bring it up to date with modern technology. Final Fantasy VII would need a major facelift.
And that is exactly what it got.
Rabid fans of the game had their childhood dreams fullfilled as Final Fantasy VII Remake became availalbe on the Playstation 4. All the mystique behind the original game came into reality in 4K brilliance as Cloud jumped off that train once again into the dark regions of Midgar. It really is incredible to see how this game has come full cirlce from blocky polygons to fleshed out 3D models. Once again, I am not able to enjoy the game because I do not own a PS4, but I am able to watch my friends play it on Twitch and Mixer, so it seems as if history has repeated itself.
Watching the dynamic shift from what was, to what now is in FF7, I came to realize that being remade is not something that is done quickly. FF7R took years to develop as the release date kept getting pushed back more and more. Finally, after about five years of development, this game gets to see the light of day, and it is truly worth the wait. This whole idea of waiting for a change and a remake is something that is not only a part of life, it is also very Biblical.
I like looking at the way Israel waited for the fulfillment of God’s promises. Everyone knew that there would be someone called the “Messiah” who would come onto the scene, but no one was ever able to see that promise come to fruition. Years went by, centuries really, and the Hebrew people kept their eyes up to the sky awaiting for the Savior to come. They wanted the fullfillment of everything that they were promised. It needed to happen, eventually.
Then, one starlit night in the small Judaean hamlet of Bethlehem, that remake finally came. God in the flesh, the Christ-child, Jesus Christ, finally came to earth to bring the people the very promise that they had waited for. Finally, it had happened, but many people did not see what they had expected. You see, the long awaited king was not the remake that they wanted.
Many Jews wanted to see a revolutionary leader, someone who would conquer the enemies of the people in a rain of blood and vengence. Others were looking for a stately king, one who came with power and glory, sitting on a golden throne and amassing for himself great wealth. What people expected is not what they got! Instead they got this:
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
This was not the remake that the Hebrew people were expecting. This was not the Messiah that they were promised, or that was at least what the religious leaders were saying. But out of all the scrutiny that came Jesus’ way, a light shined forth. This was a light of love and grace. It was something that people had not seen before, and it was refreshing and honest. They remembered their God cursing and destroying His enemies, now this man came in the name of that same God with open arms.
This wasn’t the remake that everyone was expecting, it was better!
Everything that Jesus taught pointed towards the everlasting love of God. Sure, he showed his anger from time to time as he cleared the temple courts and casted out demons. Jesus still showed God as being a jelous God who did not wish for his people to worship false idols, but He did so with love. Jesus Christ was the perfect fullfillment of the Old Testament Law. He was the perfect remake of God’s greatest plan.
I look at a game like Final Fantasy 7 Remake and feel like everyone had their own expectations on how the game would play. Now that it is out, many people are strongly considering whether or not it is suitable replacement for the original. The simple and honest answer is that it is not a replacement, nor will it ever be! The original Final Fantasy 7 is a materpiece that has survuved the test of time, only to hold such honor among fans to merit an HD remake in 2020. These two games complement each other; both are needed in the gaming catalogue of history.
The same is for both the Old and New Covenants of God. The original Old Covenant, which was created to sustain God’s people through the crucible of time up until the Messiah would arrive, was merely a shadow of things to come. The New Covenant, or the Great Remake, as I like to call it, was a completion of what was; it was the culimnation of what God intended for His people in the first place.
You see, we are living in that Remake; the very time in which all of God’s people can join together and worship God directly through His Son. It is a better way, but the Old Law has not been done away with, it has just been fullfilled. much like the FF7 Remake has built upon and improved the original story, the Great Remake through Jesus Christ has given us a better existence through Him.