Spider-Man Bobblehead

Spider-Man Bobble-head

Your hero has poison in his veins. I have to admit, I love the current craze for comic movies. Everyone loves a hero or heroine. We love someone who can pull us up to a better level. We know there are bad people in the world. There are always those who hurt and destroy what is good in society. Yet, there are also good people in the world. These comic-heroes remind us that we can rise above evil. We can overcome.

Spider-man and Batman, however remind us that beneath the surface of goodness to which we may aspire, lies a price for being the hero. Spider-man has venom in his veins. What makes him a hero also marks him for life as one who cannot be among others. A spider bite uniquely empowers him to overcome villains, yet ruins him for relationships. It’s the same for Batman. Batman must live alone. It seems that all the comic heroes are like that. What makes them strong also imperils them.

Real heroes live among us everyday. They go to war, they enter burning buildings to rescue people, they take personal risks of life to help people in danger. These everyday heroes do not see themselves as super-heroes. They are more often ordinary people who find the courage to do good things in difficult places. Comic-movie heroes seem more like aliens living among us — Thor gods who pound the earth into submission. These comic heroes do as much harm as they do good. When Thor loses his temper, its bad news.

Yes, we like heroes because they say something of the ideals we long to have in us. We would like to be strong and courageous. We would like to defeat evil and rescue the innocent. We would like to be strong. Our comic-heroes also reveal the fracture in our humanity. We like they, want what is good, yet, like them, we also carry poison in our veins. We too often participate in our own kind of evil. We carry sin in our nature and soil the good within us.

God set forth his own Son, Jesus, to be our hero. Jesus is not like our comic-heroes. There is no poison in his veins. Instead, Jesus’ blood cleanses us from sin. Nothing in Jesus was ever corrupted with evil. Jesus demonstrated the greatness of God’s love by sacrificing himself for the sins of the world. Having come from God, Jesus shared in the power of creation. His miracles were works of creative-life reversing the destruction of this fallen world. He rose from the dead because he is the Word of life. In my mind, Jesus is the real hero. He brings people into God’s life – that life that enables us to live with God. Jesus is the real hero this world needs. He teaches us to love like God. He gives us life — that is, knowing God’s presence, which alone seems to remove the poison from our veins.