Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Real Superhero and His Arch Nemesis

Though writing fiction is supposed to be a creative pursuit, it is impossible for us to write an interesting story that does not have a parallel in real life. Even something as fantastic as the superhero story has a parallel. The life that Jesus Christ lived looks very much like the life of a superhero. Jesus had an unusual origin. He was wiser than the wisest. He healed the sick and raised the dead. Though he drew large crowds, he didn’t fit in the people of his day and the people in the area where he grew up rejected him. His brothers didn’t accept him until later in life. All of that looks very much like the classic superhero story and that may be part of why people reject Jesus. Their logic goes something like this. Superman is a superhero, Jesus is a superhero, Superman does not exist, superheroes do not exist, therefore Jesus cannot be a superhero. The problem there is that we cannot conclude that all superheroes do not exist because the ones we made up do not exist.

Most superheroes have an arch nemesis. In fiction, the arch nemesis is the evil opposite of the superhero. This character is as powerful as the superhero, until the superhero defeats it. If Jesus is the superhero, who then is the arch nemesis? Many people have the idea that Satan is the arch nemesis of Jesus. This is an incorrect assumption. Satan in no way equals Jesus in power and never has. Satan is a created being. In fact, Jesus created him. God never created his equal. The arch nemesis must be something that God did not create. God is light, life, love, holy and righteous. The direct opposite of that is darkness, death, hate, the grave and sin. The arch nemesis of Jesus is sin and death. That is what he defeated when he died on the cross and rose from the dead. They are the things that cause a challenge for God because he wants fellowship with his people and they keep getting in the way. But Jesus has defeated them and we have no need to fear them.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Corinthians 15:55-57)