Last night I watched for the second time with my family “The Amazing Spider Man 2” which is an excellent movie if you are an old comic book junkie like myself. Yes! I do still have all my old comic books and hope that one day these comic books could turn a profit at some point. Alas, I digress… I couldn’t help but think about the parallels these comic book heroes have to Christ. Spider Man isn’t the only one. The latest Batman saga found in the Dark Night series is another blockbuster hit that closely parallels the story of Christ. This pattern of hero is found in almost all the modern day versions of comic book hero’s. From my observation these are the qualifications of a Hollywood comic book hero…
- The hero suffers greatly in their humanity (secret identity) which causes the hero to disappear for a period of time only to return in glory to be the protector of the city
- The hero is often rejected by the people they are trying to help
- The hero must often sacrifice themselves/die in order to save the people
- The hero is often presumed to have died only to come back to life
- The hero is often tempted with the status of being a God among the people by the villain and denies the offer in an act of humility
- The hero always represents truth and justice
- The hero always deals with right and wrong as moral absolutes
- The hero is often the only hope for mankind being saved from the villain because the people are incapable of fighting such evil themselves
Coincidence or Divine?
So did the creators of these epic blockbusters intend to have the character of Christ undertone their story line? From what I can tell based on the people who made these films, the answer is a resounding NO. So why would someone who either rejects Christ or simply chooses not to make a decision on the matter (which is still rejecting Him) create a story and hero that so closely relates to Jesus Christ? My belief is that inwardly the world craves a hero that meets this criterion. Deep down we all know that humanity is desperately in need of a hero that can fight the evil in this world that we ourselves are incapable of defeating on our own. For many this next statement will be refused vehemently, but if we were all honest with ourselves we would know it to be true.
We can not defeat the evil because it resides within our own minds and hearts and we like it.
However, that is not the focus of this post. God created us in His image and placed in us a desire to create just as He created. With this desire deep with in us, it is only natural for us to portray the will of God we know to be true inwardly through the outward creative process. As a result our inner craving for a hero like Christ is depicted in the stories we create to captivate and entertain in order to attempt to satisfy this craving.
Though the craving for this hero seems to be at an all time high, given the current climate and prevailing evil in the world, it has always been a craving of humanity since the beginning of time. All throughout human history there are legends and folklore in every culture and people group of a “savior of the world”. Many of these legends, often pre-dating the life of Christ, are used by atheists to show that the story of Jesus is just one more attempt of the “primitive” and “irrational” minds of ignorant people trying to rationalize the world around them. However, I would look at it a little differently.
Eternity in Their Hearts
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “[God] has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end.” Genesis 3 makes it very clear that God made an eternal promise to Adam and Eve to bring reconciliation to the world through the seed of Eve which will crush the head of evil (Satan). The story of a savior (eternity) was set in the hearts of all mankind from the very beginning. God placed it there so that when the day came that Christ would walk the Earth and do the very things that we inwardly know we need and absolutely crave, our hearts would respond accordingly. The only problem is that our pride often refutes what we know to be true and in an act of pure rebellion we desire to place ourselves as the savior of our own lives. However, it is very clear that we all know deep down that in order to change this world and save it from itself there must be something bigger than our humanity. There must be someone who is not like the rest of us and has the power to overcome the evil that is in all of us. If this is not true then why does Hollywood keep creating these “heroes” that can be paralleled to Jesus? Why not create a different kind of hero? I am sure many have tried but they can’t. If they created a hero that looks any different than this it would be rejected by the people they are creating the hero for. No other hero brings in the box office sales like this one. Why? Because that is what we want!!!
We Know the Truth
When this type of hero is presented on the silver screen, no one rejects it. No one goes into the debate of what is right and what is wrong. They accept the moral absolutes of the hero. No one stands up for the villain saying who is this hero that he should call this villain a villain? No, quite the contrary. The hero is applauded and praised for defeating such evil and saving the day. This is because deep within the soul of every person is a heart that God has prepared to receive the Gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ. That good news is that He has defeated evil and saved the day for all eternity. The only thing we have to do is choose which side we are on. Will we side with the villain who deceives and destroys or will we side with the hero to join Him in fighting the good fight and seeing the world saved? What will you choose?
“You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
“God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)