Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Midweek Grace - Hebrews 1:1-3.
The summer ‘blockbuster’ movie season is just about over. As usual were treated to a slew of ‘superheroes’ who through might, cunning and bad humor will save the day, the city, the world and of course get the girl to boot. One of the attractions of the modern day movie hero is their vulnerability. They are very much like us which causes a good measure of identification. These heroes present a mixture of strength and weakness. Moreover, our modern day heroes fight against despicable evil. The bad guys in these movies are really bad guys (or aliens, mutants etc.).
What is it that draws us to movies with the same themes, plots, bad acting, contrived dialogue and predictable endings? Perhaps it’s the image presented by the film regarding our concept of a champion and the nature of good and evil. The champion has qualities we all admire and hope are within us like courage, perseverance, cleverness, utter selflessness and a willingness to do what must be done. The bad guys are mere caricatures of evil who seem to gorge themselves in mayhem for the sheer joy of it without any rhyme or reason.
That said, millions of people spent good time and money to watch modern day computer generated heroes save the day. We went because these stories highlight our yearning for a genuine hero who will once and for all put and end to evil and usher in a time of peace and prosperity.
Hebrews 1 presents us such a man. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, and exactly the kind of champion we need. Jesus graciously tells us about the great story of humanity and our relationship to our Creator. Jesus spoke on the ultimate issues of right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice. He taught that we belong to God and have an obligation to live up to the image in which He created us. Jesus not only taught us correctly about God He embodied the very qualities of God He spoke of. He related perfectly to the Father in just the way Adam was created to but did not. He spread the knowledge of the Father the same way Adam was commanded to but didn’t do fully. Jesus followed completely the moral laws of the Father the way that Adam and his descendents always failed to do. Jesus is the hero we need because He’s the only one who could do the necessary job to save the day, His people and the world.
For those familiar with the summer blockbuster plot you know that the movie plunders along until the great final battle between the superhero and his/her arch enemy. The hero uses a combination of strength and wit to finally defeat his adversary. Our hero however defeated His enemy through the weakness of the cross. Unlike Batman, Spiderman, Bourne or McClane Jesus did not triumph through physical might, because our enemies were far more than mere mortals bent on taking our liberty and lives. The enemies of humanity aren’t the bad guys from the dark places of the cosmos, but the man staring back at me in the mirror. Left to ourselves we’d continue in our hopeless doomed war against our Creator and would eventually have to face Him to answer for our crimes of treason and rebellion. By God’s marvelous grace Jesus pays for our sins, rescuing us from God’s wrath and our own sinful selves.
Jesus is worth of our worship because He is the champion that humanity needs. Through His own goodness, perseverance, courage, infinite love and selfless sacrifice He wraps up the story of our lives and restores us to the image we were created to live in. The nature of this story doesn’t necessarily make for good movie making, but I can tell you from personal experience that it makes fascinating reading.
To Him Who Loves Us…