Heroes. Hollywood has them in abundance: Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Flash, The Justice League, Thor, Ant Man, and on and on as the movie industry spins their larger-than-life, superhuman tales on the big screen. Their mythical stories are told and retold through prequels, sequels, and modernized renditions as millions become engaged in these tales at the theaters or in their own homes. But what are we seeking through these heroes of myth and lore?
Why do we seem to have this need for a superhuman hero in our culture, someone who will “save the day” and protect us from the bad guys and the evil villains? The answer is really a simple one: We have a need for mankind’s true hero, Jesus Christ, the Savior. Many do not know His story, which is not a tale or a myth but a real life lived and given on this earth for us. We have a need for this Savior, our Redeemer—the man who was God, the God who became a man.
The story of Jesus has characteristics similar to that of a superhero. He has superhuman powers: healing lepers, the blind, the lame; casting out demons; bringing a man back from the dead; walking on water; calming the seas and the winds; knowing a man’s thoughts; dying and rising again to life. His superhuman costume is described in Isaiah 11:5: “Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” Garbed in this “costume,” Jesus confronts a superhuman villain, the devil, in the desert. Satan tries to tempt Him, but Jesus is not swayed and remains strong of mind and purpose, even after fasting 40 days and nights. (10) Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” (11) Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended Him. (Matthew 4:10-11) Defeated, Satan departs and heavenly beings arrive to minister to Jesus, physically weakened in this mortal state, which He chose to become in order to protect and save us.
Superheroes are always protectors of others, the defense against evil. Jesus is the ultimate Protector: “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah40:11) A superhero will personally suffer and even sacrifice himself to protect others. Jesus, our Savior, did this for all mankind: “For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17) This atonement came in the form of His own death: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
Often, a superhero is not from this world. Jesus also had another home which He left for us: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) The sacrifice was great; it was all for us.
Hero worship can occur with those who have great powers and make supreme sacrifices. (17) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. (18) I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelations 1:17-18) In this case, the worship is not merely “hero worship” but true worship toward the one and living Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The world needs to hear the story of Jesus. He already “saved the day” for all of us and gives us protection from sin and evil if we but follow Him. The cross was His weapon, His blood our shield. The sequel includes us in the story when we seek, believe, and follow His Truth–not the myths, tales, and gods of men.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/28/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word