Wonder Woman is the latest in a plethora of superhero movies released in the last few years. When we saw the movie recently, most of the trailers featured more “superheroes.”
And I realized that the world has always looked for a rescuer, someone to save us from evil, from grief, from struggles.
The Greeks had their gods–both fearsome and worthy of worship. They believed Zeus was god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice. The Romans believed in similar gods but also looked to their Caesars for protection. The Israelites weren’t satisfied with judges and prophets sent by God; they asked for a king to protect and rule over them. (See 1 Samuel 8.)
Moving forward a few thousand years, the Pilgrims had a king but found him oppressive. In the twentieth century, the German people looked to Hitler to restore the pride and power of their country; some even supported his quest to develop a “master race.”
A 2015 book, On the Origin of Superheroes by Chris Gavaler, concludes that superheroes have always been with us: “they are a fossil record of our greatest aspirations and our worst fears and failings.”
Superman was one of my favorite TV shows when I was a child (probably because I wanted to be a reporter like Lois Lane). I’ve enjoyed the Superman and Spiderman movies, loved the banter of Iron Man, and rooted for Wonder Woman.
But during this last movie, I couldn’t help feeling sad that so many people adore superheroes but don’t know that One already came to save the world. They look for a mythical character who will use super powers and self-sacrifice to defeat evil. But the real super power already sacrificed Himself.
Though evil still exists temporarily, Jesus has already crushed its instigator and defeated death:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
(1 Corinthians 15:54-55, ESV)
We can enjoy rooting for superheroes and cheering when they defeat the bad guys in the movies. But in our real life, we don’t need a superhero. We need a Savior…and, for those who trust Him, He has already come.