Every movie–and many books–has a savior, superhero, chosen one, etc. But who is truly the only one who can save you? What needs saving? What is worth saving?
Batman, Superman, Captain America, Luke Skywalker, Thor, Iron Man, and so many of those other superheroes are beings that have a special “power” to save the earth or universe(s) and the measly beings who live there.
This is probably not the kind of blog post you expected on Easter, but I thought it was fitting. We do need a Savior. But we don’t need one to save earth from all the evil that is taking place on it. There is a lot of evil and bad things, but the Bible tells a very different story from what you will find in any superhero movie or book.
The Real “Superhero” Story
It all started a long time ago before the earth existed. All was dark and formless. Suddenly a voice spoke.
“Let there be light!”
And there was light. In the six days that followed, God created everything on earth. Everything He created was perfect. There was no sin, no decay, no evil, only goodwill, peace, and perfection.
[enter the villain]
Then came the serpent. That deceitful snake named Satan. He tempted Adam and Eve and sin came into God’s perfect world. BUT, God knew everything that would happen! Even in this sad time, God had a plan. His plan was to send His Son to save the world.
“But wait a minute!” you interject. “Didn’t you just say that this is a story of a Savior who didn’t save the earth?”
That’s right. Jesus didn’t come to save just the Earth. This Savior came to save people, not from the evil things being done, but from their own sins.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. – Genesis 3:15 (NASB)
A True Savior
Jesus, God’s one and only Son, came to earth as a baby. Born to a poor family, the Son of God grew up in wisdom and in stature with favor from God and man (Luke 2:52, paraphrase). While on earth, He taught about the Kingdom of God.
But what the Jews of the day didn’t understand was that the Kingdom of God was not an earthly kingdom. They were looking for a superhero to save them from the tyrannical rule of the Roman emperors. That isn’t what God meant for them to have.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.-Isaiah 53:3-6 (NASB)
“Just a minute!” you say. “How can Jesus be a superhero or savior if He’s dead?”
That was also part of God’s plan! Jesus’ death isn’t the end of the story. It’s the middle of the story, leading up to the climax.
Jesus died on that cross. When the Roman solider thrust the spear in His side, blood and water came out. He was truly dead. Joseph of Arimathea took His body down and buried Jesus in a new tomb. His body was sealed in that tomb.
Then something amazing happened! Three days after His death, the earth trembled, the stone rolled away, and Jesus rose from the dead! The grave could not contain Him, death could not hold Him. Jesus Christ is alive!
“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”-Luke 24:5b-7 (NASB)
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.-1 Corinthians 15:54b-57 (NASB)
After Jesus rose from the dead, He did not only appear to a few of His most faithful disciples. He appeared to Peter, the twelve, and then to over 500 of His followers at one time! Fifty days later, Jesus ascended to heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God.
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” -Acts 5:29-32 (NASB, emphasis added)
This still isn’t the end of the story, though! Jesus is in heaven today, but He won’t always stay there.
The Storm before the Calm
Yes, I intentionally reversed that saying. There will be no peace on earth, no cease of wars, no justice for all the evils of the world. At least not yet.
In Revelation, God promises there will be worldwide destruction, wars, plagues, and horrible evils done. As bad as things seem today, it gets worse. Much, much worse.
Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.-Revelation 9:3-6 (NASB)
And this is one of the tamer judgments God sends on those who do not believe in Christ. A third of the sun is darkened, a third of the stars are swept away, the vegetation is no more, a third of the water becomes undrinkable. It truly is the storm before the calm.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.-Revelation 21:1-7, 22-23, 22:12-13, 20
In the New Heavens and New Earth, Jesus will reign as the victorious King. He is the true superhero; the only One who can save us from our sin. And in the last days, every knee will bow.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.-Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB)