I like my heroes tough. I like Iron Man. Doc Savage is another favorite. Then there is Spiderman and Batman. Superman is good, but for a guy that is tough as steel and can fly he sure got in a lot of trouble. Anyway, I like them to thrash the bad guys and all that superhero stuff.
I keep trying to fit Jesus into that kind of mold. I want him to kick butt and take names out of the Book of Life. Jesus should be a superhero with no weaknesses, a bad attitude, and a lot of hostility toward evil. I want him to defend the cause of the widows and orphans by throwing flashbang grenades into the villain’s room, kick the door in, and rid the world of evil. That’s what I want. Jesus does it differently.
Jesus plays by a different set of superhero rules. In fact, if Jesus were a superhero comic book, it would not sell in America. Seriously, who wants to read about a guy that gets his teeth kicked in by the enemy and killed? It didn’t have to be Roman soldiers, either. It could have been grannies using walkers that beat him down. One pastor said that he couldn’t worship a god he could beat up. If that’s true, this guy is looking for a superhero in Jesus that Jesus will never be.
Just look at what Jesus did when he was dying on the cross. They said, “He saved others but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, `I am the Son of God.'” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.” Matthew 27.42-44
To all of this, does he kick their butts? Does he call fire from heaven? Does he incinerate them? No! He says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23.34a
If I wrote the story, Superhero Jesus would have gone all Popeye on them and said, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more” and destroyed them for their mockery. But no! Jesus takes it and asks his Father to forgive his abusers. Some superhero Jesus turned out to be. Instead of violence and flashbangs, he answers hatred with love, violence with peace, sorrow with joy, and persecution with patience.
Maybe Superheroes are a reflection of how we want things to be in this world. Maybe that should be a warning to us. We should be aware of our desire to create God in our own image and be wary of giving him our ideas of revenge and justice.
All of this makes Jesus a lousy superhero. He is, however, a wonderful savior. What do you think?