It always makes me chuckle to watch one of the various movies about superheroes that has come out in recent years. Despite the computer generated narrative devoid style of these movies, despite the explosions and fight scenes that long to distract us from the shallow cliché and tag line driven dialogue, there are messages that these movies tend to try and share. Over the past decade especially there have been to common denominators in these movies. The first is that every major character has supernatural abilities. Even the characters that don’t have “super powers” can catch an arrow flying through the air, leap from buildings, run miles without being winded, be pummeled by dozens of henchmen and not feel it. Even the non-superheroes are super. There is always some power deep within them that makes them able to do the impossible. They are not just ordinary people, they are chosen, special, powerful, and they need no one and nothing.
The second message that has become popular in today’s entertainment is the message that is communicated over and over again. It is a simple message that echoes throughout media genres. It is “believe in yourself, and to be your own hero.” The irony of these two messages should be apparent to us. First we are to believe in ourselves, and then we are told we must be supernaturally powerful to accomplish the things that we need to do. The problem is this, no matter how much we believe in ourselves, none of you reading this has supernatural powers. No matter how much you want to be your own self-sufficient super hero, when your head comes down out of the clouds real life is much harsher a message. Our problems still require a supernatural hero, but try as we might, we can’t be that hero. There is a problem.
10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” -Ro 3:10–12
Sin is the villain in this story, and we are powerless to fight it. It is a problem that the normal person cannot contend with because it is a spiritual problem not a manageable problem. 1st Corinthians reminds us of this truth.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Corinthians 2:14
The problem of sin is one that the average Joe cannot contend with it. We need a hero to vie for us whom is supernatural. Enter Jesus onto the scene. John says that Jesus was “the light” and the “life of man”. He was the supernatural hero which the problem of man demanded.
The message of the Bible runs completely contrary to the message running through our popular culture. The message in our culture is to believe in yourself, but also be something greater than what you are. The message of the Bible is to believe in Christ, and He will be able to be everything that you cannot. The former sets high expectations that rest in the unreachable. The latter sets only the expectation of trust, which rests squarely in grace. There is a super hero. But the hero isn’t you, and isn’t that comforting?
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.- Hebrews 7:25