Why We Love Superheroes

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Today’s prototypical superhero began in 1936 with a character named The Phantom and was shortly followed by our beloved Superman in 1938. People both young and old have been enamored with the spectacular powers of these super humans for many decades. From heroes who are pure of heart like Captain America to heroes with a little too much rage like Wolverine, we have imagined every kind of hero we can think up. We love to imagine heroes who can do things that we can’t do or struggle to do. We want to see evil defeated by a high caliber person of great strength and will. We also really want to see the struggle. It gives us hope to see our superheroes go through great distress but win in the end. Today, as much as ever before, superheroes are in the limelight at the box office and people flock to see their heroes in action. We want to see greatness and the demise of evil.

Why do we have these feelings? Why do we desire to see people of great power face darkness and defeat evil? What is it within us that superheroes tap in to? Isn’t it our God-given desire to see God thwart evil and restore this world? We love superheroes because we love the idea that someone could fix all of this. We love the idea that evil could actually be destroyed by someone strong enough. But isn’t all this just dreams, fairytales, and fiction? Well … actually no. One superhero is real and His name is Jesus. His powers are in fact greater than anything we can imagine or film or draw in comics. Jesus Christ has all the power because He is Creator and Sustainer of all and can therefore alter anything as He pleases. Matthew 28:18 says, “Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’”

We love superheroes because we were designed to love Jesus. Jesus could walk on water, heal anyone of anything, he made no mistakes, he had no kryptonite, he even died for His enemies, and could raise the dead even raise Himself. John Piper, “All heroes are shadows of Christ.” Jesus is everything we are hoping for in a hero and more. He actually accomplished what we have hoped for. He conquered sin and death. He grants us this very power too. We don’t just have to watch, we get to enter the story.

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We would flood the box offices all the more if we knew that the superhero was handing out His power to all who believed. This is precisely what Christ has done. He has won the day and now sends His very Spirit to empower all those who believe and trust in Him. Now we are eager to see Jesus in every facet of our lives. We are ready to fight evil by His side. We are desperate for this hero. “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” (Romans 8:19-21) Let us celebrate everyday the ultimate hero, Jesus! He is our King, our Messiah, our hope, and our salvation.