I love superheroes. I always have. I grew up watching cartoons on Saturday mornings like most kids, and my favorite was always Batman. I’m not sure what it is about that particular character that stands out to me, but I actually thought I was Batman for a while when I was 5 or 6. So for my child-like love for this character, I recently saw the new Batman v. Superman action movie on opening night. However, my personal feelings about the movie are not the topic of this post. There was something that stood out to me about the experience of watching this movie I couldn't help but share.
There we were, all 300 of us, sitting in that IMAX theatre watching our larger than life superheroes duking it out on the screen. I could tell there were many other little boys who grew up watching Batman and Superman like me in the theatre. But there was a moment that made me feel something I’ve never felt in a movie theatre before. It was odd and meaningful. The screen showed Superman coming to terms with the power that he had and the responsibility of his actions. I won’t go into the theme of power vs. responsibility here, because that is secondary. The main idea is that Superman is portrayed having almost limitless power and the government is scared of him using that power without checks and balances. There is a line from the movie that states something like “…when you have almost god-like powers who to you subject yourself to?” That line didn't mean much for me, but there was a person sitting behind me. Another man who no doubt was just like me for all intents and purposes. I would not be surprised if he watched the same cartoons I did, and yet he said something out loud. When that line was said in the movie, this man behind me said “…he is God.”
This man saw a magnificent display of power and strength from a man wearing a blue and red costume and in his mind he saw God. To me, I saw something else.
When I think of my true picture of a hero, I don't see Superman or Batman. I see Jesus. Not a man who displayed his power outwardly and saved a city, but a lowly servant who taught, healed and gave His life for all of us. Jesus did not don a cape to save us, but a crown of thorns. He didn't take up a symbol of his superhero persona, but a cross. This man probably didn't mean anything with his comment in the theatre that day, but I heard it. He was looking at a fictional character and called him God. I look at Jesus and proclaim the same thing as Thomas after seeing Jesus “…my Lord and my God.” (John 20:28).