Like many in the realm of geek culture my love for superheroes started at a very a young age. Although, it didn’t start in the stereotypical, boy-walks-into-comic-book-shop way that you may see in different forms of media. I wouldn’t read an actual comic book till later on in life. So, my exposure initially came from thirty minute increments of flashing lights on the weekends. Saturday Morning cartoons were the gateway drug that started an ‘addiction’ that would last even up till the present day.
It was the early two thousands, the bowl-cut was still in (at least if you were a small child ) and I rocked it proudly as I flipped through the stations bored out of my mind. After what seemed like an hour of mindless button pressing, I landed on Toon Disney. Except, this wasn’t the same channel I saw on weekday afternoons. Shows like Pepper Ann and Teacher’s Pet were replaced by Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and several Power Ranger seasons. I was hooked from the introductions alone.
These early moments would lead to me crave more shows. Luckily, other channels also played similar reruns and released their own comic book based shows. Soon, it seemed like there was no limit to the time I could spend glued to the talking box .
But there was something deeper going on than just an infatuation . I didn’t just want to watch the heroes, I wanted to be one. So much so in fact that I pretended that I was fighting crime . In my head, I was Iceman from The X-Men, The Blue Power Ranger, and sometimes even my own creations. Those early exposures opened the door to something that I think we all have in us, something that is almost innate.
Throughout history, we see the archetype of the hero get played out over and over again. This isn’t something that came on to the scene when Jack Kirby and Stan Lee picked up pens. Those before us seemed to be enamored by them too. Look through any culture and any mythology and you’re bound to find someone who fits the hero mold. Sometimes, these characters are normal people like us and other times they’re something more, beings filled with powers not unlike modern superheroes.
I believe these characters are so prevalent through our history as a people because, we long to be like them. There is a drive in all of us to be more than what we are. Our goal is often to be larger than life. This sometimes means that we wish to swoop in to save the day for ourselves and others. The desire to be someone who can change things in an instant is strong in us. We long to be the heroes of our own stories.
Yet, if we’re being honest with ourselves, none of us are the hero. We wish we were and often try to be but we end up failing. So, like those before us we hook ourselves onto fantastic tales of fictional, almighty characters that are written to save the day.
We aren’t the hero and that’s okay.
The good news is that there is a hero that actually exists not just in some comic book or apart of some block buster movie starring Robert Downey Jr. We are told of his story through scripture.
The Book of Genesis tells of the fall of man, in which mankind rebels against God and commits an act we call sin. Through this sin came death as Romans 5:12 tells us:
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Humanity became lost, separated from the very God that created them and waiting for eternal damnation in The Lake of Fire. Yet, even in the early moments after man’s fall, God says something spectacular. He tells of one who would come along to save us. When talking to Satan in the garden He says this:
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall [a]bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
This is the very first reference to what Jesus Christ would come to do. It is often called ‘The protevengelium’ meaning the first gospel.
Later on in scripture, God sends his only son, to not only die on a cross but also resurrect from the dead, Romans 4:25 says :
25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
This is the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. We have an assurance that we won’t face being separated from The Father for all eternity in The Lake Of Fire. We will spend eternity with our God.
We aren’t the hero but we should rejoice in the truth that God sent His Son who is.