The superhero zooms in, a little beaten and bruised…but something keeps him going. With determination in his eyes he faces off with the sinister villain who is intent on destroying anyone in his path. The hero, moments before, had been beaten and considered vanquished. Now he stands before the shell shocked villain ready take him down once and for all.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for superhero movies! If one were to look at my movie collection one would find a slew of hero films, in fact it’s probably the biggest collection of all of my movies. I love a good versus evil story plot! It evokes in me justice and peace with just a little action and mayhem thrown in. This past week Ironman 3 debuted at theaters all around the country & world. It blew the competition away in that it was the top grossing film of the weekend (probably a few more weekends to go too). What that says to me is that I’m not alone in my love of superhero movies. There are millions out there who line up, pay for film tickets and see these films with me. Why? Why are superhero movies such a popular draw?
Here’s my take – because everyone at heart is looking for a hero! Everyone wants not just to escape into fantasy, but they want some sort of rescue in their own lives. We want to see evil vanquished! We want to see good stand triumphantly over the fallen maniacal villain! At heart, we long for heroes in our lives today!
The man stands in front of the grave of his good friend who is four days dead. The dead man’s sisters are not happy with the visiting teacher. Why hadn’t he come sooner? He is a healer, he could have done something to save him…but now it’s too late, he’s gone! But Jesus stands there and tells them to open the tomb. They must have thought to themselves; ‘Are you kidding me? Jesus he’s been dead for four days, it’s going to smell horrible in there!’ But Jesus insists and after the tomb is open, reeking of death, Jesus does something astonishing. He calls out loudly to his now dearly departed good friend. “Lazarus come out!” The people gathered there with the sisters must have exchanged confused even worried looks at each other. “Why is Jesus doing this?” Some must have wondered, “Haven’t Lazarus’ sisters suffered enough?” And yet something remarkable and awesomely supernatural takes place…there are shuffling sounds coming from the tomb.
What seem like hours pass by from Jesus’ words to what happens next…but it’s mere moments. Everyone is clinging to this last ounce of hope as death has been the unwanted house guest for more than four days. Another moment passes and then there is a sharp intake of breath and then a gasp as the dead darkens the door way of his own grave. Jesus has done the unthinkable, He has risen Lazarus from the death. A body in full rigor, decomposing in the tomb has been reanimated. Where stillness had been claimed within vacant lungs, now breathing and motion has gained access once again. Lifeless is replaced with life. Lazarus is no longer dead…he is alive!
Imagine being one of those witnesses that day? They experienced something they couldn’t quite explain; they see the unthinkable take place. A very dead person is brought back to life! Jesus, God’s one and only son, displaying His very real power over life and death! Is there any other person who has walked this earth and lived human life done more? Jesus who is the Lord of life and death? One who actually has supernatural power? A true hero for all of humanity? It is wondrous to think that not only did Jesus heal the sick and give life to the dead, but He also went to the extreme and laid down His life for all of humanity. When He hung on the cross for the sins of all of us, He went to hell and conquered sin and death! But the story didn’t end with a heroes sacrifice and finality of a mournful death…NO! He brought himself back to life! Jesus even said that He would do this for us: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life (for my sheep) –only to take it up again.” (John 10:17 NIV)
Is Jesus your superhero? Not in some corny or silly way, but in the very real sense that He has displayed His love for you, He has conquered sin and death for us and that He is the only way by which we can find our eternal home in heaven with God. Jesus wants you to experience this supernatural salvation and deliverance. He comes to each of us and asks if we will accept Him as our savior. I have chosen to follow Him, will you?
John 11:25-26 (NIV)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”