I love superheroes. I’m by no means an expert, and I’ve never read a comic book in my life, but I do enjoy the superhero movies. I even know to stay in the theater and wait for the scenes after the credits. I sometimes get my universes mixed up, but I do love to see a good superhero save the day, kick the villain’s butt, and get the girl. A quick look at the box office will show you that America loves superheroes, too.
Many of these superhero stories originated during wartime, such as Superman who flew on the scene in the 1930s to fight Nazis and save the day. Some of them got their powers from freak accidents and mutations, but regardless, we identify with their desire to do good and fight against an evil too strong for mere mortals. We identify with superheroes because they still struggle with being human. Yet in spite of opposition and adversity, they overcome, bringing hope and comfort to the world.
The truth is we all need a Superhero. Here’s why.
#1 We can’t save ourselves. We need a Savior.
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them–the Lord, who remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoner free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the way of the wicked” (Psalm 146:3-9, NIV).
How’s that for a Superhero? For those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the answer to our mortality, for He provides eternal life. He is the answer to our sin problem, for He saves us from our sins. We can’t save ourselves. We need a Savior who can cleanse us from sin and restore us to a right relationship with the One who created us.
Superheroes often risk themselves to save those who are in trouble, and we respect their sacrifice. But the Bibles tells us that “no man can redeem the life of another” (Psalm 49:7). Only Jesus can redeem us from the grave.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13).
We are all in sin trouble because we are born with a sinful nature. We need Jesus to rescue us from the result of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23).
#2 We can’t defeat our enemy. We need someone to fight for us.
We have a real enemy, the devil. He is true evil, seeking to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). Jesus said that Satan
“was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
When we allow Jesus to rescue us, we come under His divine protection from the enemy. The Bible tells us that He fights for us.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust’…You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day… ‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name’… I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him” (Psalm 91:1-2, 5, 14-15).
One of my favorite superheroes is the Green Arrow, Oliver Queen. He fights to save Star City from criminals and evil villains with his deadly arrows that can tie people up, stop them in their tracks, or take them out, if need be. In Psalm 64, David is crying out the the Lord to protect him from the threat of the enemy. David says the enemy has “evil plans” and they “plot injustice” against him, but that God will “shoot them with arrows; suddenly they will be struck down.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s a Superhero God to me–One who will fight on my behalf and rescue me from my enemy with arrows of His own.
#3 We face injustice. We need One who is just.
I’m sure we’ve all figured it out by now: life isn’t fair. That’s one of the reasons I love the stories of superheroes. They right the wrongs, battle injustice, stand up for what is right. Take the Avengers, for instance. They use their power, resources, and courage to set things right when terrorists like Hydra seek to destroy the earth. We also have a God who avenges.
“O Lord, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve” (Psalm 94:1-2).
When we look around at so much evil in the world–those who would rape, kidnap, torture, and murder innocent people–we sometimes are discouraged and wonder why God would allow such evil. We must remember that we live in a fallen world because of sin. But we have a God who is on our side, and He will one day make every wrong right.
When we face personal injustice, accusations, or unfairness, we can rest in the hope that our God sees all and knows all.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:5-6).
Yes, we love our superheroes, but they aren’t perfect. That’s one reason we identify with them: because they are flawed just like us. But how much better to put our hope in a Superhero who actually chose to lay aside His power and glory to become human like us, to be tempted like us, and yet remained perfect in every way.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death…Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:14-18).
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
We all need a Superhero, and His name is Jesus. He is the King of kings, Lord of lords, the Avenger, the Captain, the Arrow, the Flash, the Hulk, and Iron Man all rolled into One. He is powerful enough to defeat every foe, and gentle enough to hold us in His arms. He is hope for the hopeless, help for the helpless, a Hero for every time and place.
Yes, Jesus is our Superhero who saves the day and kicks the devil’s butt. And by the way, He is one day coming again for His spotless bride, the church. So, yes, He even gets the girl.