It would seem true for our superheroes that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
In the past few years all kinds of superheroes have taken over the silver screen. I call these “comic book movies,” and don’t particularly care for them. But I’m married to a wonderful man who thinks they’re a great way to relax and have fun, so I’ve seen quite a few of them.
I’ve discovered three types of superheroes. The first category are the superheroes who are alien — like Superman or Thor. The second are the ordinary people who, through some sort of mechanics or biotechnology, acquire an edge over us un-enhanced humans: Iron Man or Batman. The third category of superheroes comprise ordinary humans who, through biohazards of some sort, develop a mutation that gives them specific, super-human abilities: Spider Man or the Fantastic Four.
While I am not a fan, I have slowly come to realize something about them — not the movies, but the need so many people have to see them.
A Classic Tale
These benign heroes spend their time protecting mankind. But why does mankind need protecting? As it turns out, there are as many malevolent super beings as there are benign ones, and they seem to be bent on destroying mankind, our planet and sometimes the entire universe.
So, there are super beings with only mankind’s good at heart in a pitched battle with other super beings with only our destruction at heart. There seems to be very little we common human beings can do about the situation except cower in fear as the battle rages around us.
I can’t help but ask myself: Why on Earth is this simple storyline reenacted — ad nauseam — to packed theaters year after year?
To my simple mind, the answer is clear: Of all the stories we have read and watched, this is the story we know deep down, to be true. The bad guys are out to get us. But if we hang on. or make the right call, or throw the right symbol against the moonlit sky, our savior will certainly arrive in the nick of time to rescue us.
Fact or Fiction?
Fantastic as it may sound, that is exactly humanity’s story.
We have been in dire straits ever since Adam and Eve found out the hard way God doesn’t play games. We have free will to do as we please, but our free will does not extend to choosing the consequences of our actions. And we know the consequences to be multitudinous. We have invited the bad guys to play, and they aren’t about to leave. So we need help — before the bad guys eat us alive.
But in this real story there is only one superhero, and His name is Jesus.
And that is why, to my thinking, this simple storyline packs out theaters every year. We all recognize our need to be rescued — saved, if you will — from something really, really bad. And we also recognize we are not capable of saving ourselves. We need help from outside, from someone stronger and smarter and braver and a whole lot more indestructible than we are.
Only Jesus ticks all the boxes.
He is from outside our universe. He lived and died among us, as one of us. But He rose, as only One who is super — divine, even — could. He overcame odds that should have seen Him rot in a grave.
And He offers the same abilities to us.
Maybe the next time my husband wants to see a comic book movie, I’ll go along — just for the thrill of that wonderful story.