Sunday, August 31, 2014

THE 'SUPEREST' OF ALL HEROS, EVER!

Heroes. They are people we look up to, respect, admire, emulate and see as worthy role models. They are both real and contrived; we read about them in newspapers and watch them on television as well as follow their exploits in biographies and documentaries.
Then there is the notion of 'super-heroes' - those who stand above and beyond the normal, every day human being, endowed by one means or another with superhuman and or supernatural powers. However, whether one is talking about real life flesh and blood heroes or those of the graphic novel (comic book) super-heroes, they all share certain traits: bravery, strength, integrity, compassion, a strong sense of morality, courage, determination, fortitude and other traits besides.

We have witnessed a surge in the cinematic sensations of super-heroes in films for the past twenty years, plus; beginning with the film Superman starring Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman in 1978 and then eleven years later Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nickolson. Eleven years later the first X-Men film came out and then just two years later the first Spider-man premiered. 

Since then (and before) a vast score of super-hero films have been produced, some live-action and others animated. They all possess to one degree or another, the same traits as mentioned above. 

Yet how does one measure heroism? What sort of elements must a super-hero contain in order to rank one above another?

One might logically suppose that the bravest would rank highest. The most powerful could also be considered as the greatest. The one who took the greatest risk of self-sacrifice or actually committed the greatest act of self-sacrifice would seem worthy of the title of the greatest. Of course, in this criteria we can't forget to add: the one who saved the most number of lives would be rightfully thought of as the greatest.

One could consider Batman or Iron Man and their endeavors to save their respective cities (Gotham and New York) or Aquaman or Superman in saving the planet from certain doom. They could even risk much, even their lives to save the population of an entire city, nation or even the entire globe.

Among the strongest of these demi-god-like beings (Have you ever considered that the realm of super-hero legend and fandom can be likened to the Greek and Roman pantheon of the gods? Indeed, today's Super Hero films can be viewed as a kind of Americanized version of the pantheon) Superman would probably rank the highest; the only one with strength enough to actually move the planet Earth out of its established orbit. The Hulk would rank a close number 2, followed by the likes of Captain Marvel, Thor, and so on.

The likes of these fictitious characters would seem to vastly outshine any heroic exploits committed by their real life counterparts of mere flesh and blood humanity . . . with one certain and notable exception.

Someone who is most definitely human, through and through; Someone Who was born into this world, lived His life, and died . . . but didn't stay dead! Obviously from the picture in today's article and this last bit about coming back from the dead (Ever you noticed how many times characters in films these days actually come back from the dead? As if to minimize the extraordinaries of such a thing) you already know Whom I'm referring to.

Yet as we examine the very real Person of Jesus Christ, Who is fully 100% man and yet also fully 100% God, we can perceive all of these heroic traits but maximized to their fullest extent.

Here we have in One Person all of the traits mentioned before, and more besides! Considering intelligence and knowledge: He is omniscient - He possesses all knowledge and all awareness of everything that transpires in every domain in existence (whether heaven or earth or hell, or any regions in the midst of these).

He is omnipresent - other Super Heroes have to show up first in order to save the day; not so with Jesus, God the Son: since He has assumed His physically immortal state in a glorified body (one that we saints will also possess when once we inherit the fullness of the kingdom!) He is immediate in His locality where ever He may be needed. Long before dire need arises, He stands ready to lend aid and rescue the soul that cries out for help!

He is omnipotent - Superman, as has been said once by Russell Crowe who portrayed Jor-El, Superman's (Kal-El) Kryptonian father, is "at the top of the food-chain of all super heroes". And yet the Man of Steel cannot hold a candle to this Man from Nazareth; for all his super powers, Jesus exceeds him in every capacity to the same extreme as the heavens are above the earth! Superman might be able to budge the Earth a bit, but Jesus is the Creator of the entire universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth! THAT's power!

Those are just the considerations of His abilities, what about His nature and character?

His integrity was such that even His enemies, after scrutinizing Him for over three years couldn't find any fault with Him (JOHN 8:46)! Even Satan, for all his wiles and subtlety couldn't seduce Him into any sinful action (MATT. 4:1-11)!

His compassion was unequalled and indefatigable, bringing healing and relief to the sick, maimed, oppressed and all others that suffered in some way (MATT. 20:34; LUKE 7:13).

Considering His bravery, no one comes close to what Jesus displayed for all the rank and file of Satan's armies that stood against the Holy Son of God and for the sum total of sin of all humanity that would ravage His righteous soul while on the cross, that would shred His resolute bond of communion with the Father that existed since all eternity past and leave Him abjectly and forlornly alone during His greatest and deepest agony on Golgotha hill (MATT. 27:46)!

No one had a greater sense of justice than Jesus, for His standard was nothing like any such standard in all the world - it was the very Law of God, which He fulfilled entirely (MATT. 5:17). This reflects back on His flawless integrity as well.

When it comes to defending the victim, the underdog, the oppressed, no one excels like Jesus! He declared His meritorious mandate as the Messiah of Israel after reading a prophetic passage from Isaiah:

LUKE 4:17-19

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

He is the absolute and incontestable title holder of the essence of "Savior" in that He not only saved His people (Israel) from their sins (MATT. 1:21), but also innumerable souls among the Gentiles (REV. 5:9); yet not only did He save people out of the time of His holy visitation on this Earth, but He also saved, and still is saving souls out of every generation from then until now! The resulting salvation of souls will enumerate vast incalculable billions of redeemed (REV. 7:9)!

And as far as self-sacrifice, any and every super-hero pales before the monumental and supreme sacrifice that Jesus made! Consider PSALM 22 and ISAIAH 53 and that just for starters; read through the following passages as well:

2 CORINTHIANS 5:18-21; esp. vs. 21

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.


21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

PHIL. 2:6-8

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Then consider what exactly Jesus saved people from: the eternal punishment and unimaginable destructive agony and torment of hell - there IS no greater peril that people potentially suffered in all the adventures of any super-hero any where in film or page that compares to this! 

ISAIAH 5:14 

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

COL. 1:12-14

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

REV. 20:11-15

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Scripture clearly states that those who are classified as "overcomers" will not suffer the ravages of hell, but whose redemption from there is absolute and certain, as their names are recorded in the Book of Life (REV. 3:5). And who are the "overcomers"? Those who are "born of God" as spoken of in JOHN 1:12-13 and JOHN 3:3, 5:

1 JOHN 5:4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Such faith as expressed towards Jesus Christ and His glorious Gospel is required for this spiritual rebirth, and once such faith has been committed to the Person of Jesus, believing on His Name, is drawn into the ranks of the overcomers!

So much more could be said in extolling and exalting the blessed and worthy Name of Jesus (ACTS 4:12; EPH. 1:20-21; PHIL 2:9-10), the Holy Son of God (LUKE 1:35), the Word made flesh (JOHN 1:14), LORD of heaven and earth, the Savior of the world - but for more on this, I refer you to the Holy Scriptures themselves for the sum total of these pages are written about Him (PS. 40:7).

Needless to say, JESUS CHRIST is most glorious and without equal in all the realms of reality or fantasy! This same JESUS is returning one day to save those whose hearts express life-changing faith in Him, even such salvation as rescuing this fallen world itself from the vile and devious plans that Satan has for this final age to come. 
I am referring to the time when the anti-Christ, the Beast of Revelation will reign over humanity for a short seven years, but whose reign will be cast down, destroyed and replaced with the Holy and Righteous reign of the LORD Jesus Christ where peace and life shall be prominent the globe over! Our Holy Hero will prevail!!

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