Most love the story of Superman. Superman comes to earth as a baby, grows into a humble, unassuming journalist, but with superpowers, doing good things for mankind and fighting the powers of evil with sheer force as his muscles bulged beneath his tight spandex suit. The women gasped in adoration and the men were awed by how he could pound the enemy into the ground with his powerful blows and brute strength. Superman was a ‘Mighty One’ which just happens to be the definition of ‘a god’. Most of humankind didn’t mind that Superman never was given much to drinking, swearing, lust, or vice (at least he didn’t in the original version). In fact, most seemed to respect Superman for his higher-than-average moral compass.
On the other hand, there’s the story of the Biblical Messiah that the Jewish prophets predicted and who most Christians claim they follow world-wide. The Jewish Prophet Isaiah referred to Him as the Mighty GOD, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. His name? Jesus, which is English for the Greek ‘Iesous’. He was also known by Jews as the Rabbi Y’hoshua. The Muslims called Him the Prophet ʿĪsā. On His visit to our planet, Jesus the Creator grew into a humble young, unassuming man with enormous superpowers and went around fighting evil with a different method – Love. Jesus was known for healing the lame, opening the eyes of the blind, bringing the dead back to life, and providing free food to the hungry. Evidently, his disciple Judas Iscariot was hoping more for a Messiah with impressive strength, muscles, and a willingness to raise the sword and smite the evil Romans with brute force and powerful blows. In other words, Judas Iscariot, who eventually betrayed Jesus to those who crucified Him, was looking for someone more like Superman, Wonder Woman, or perhaps even the less powerful Barabbas the revolutionary would do.
So was it the brute strength that made everyone love the Superman style of god rather than Jesus? Was it because Jesus didn’t bonk bad guys in the head with his muscles or wear tight spandex or show off his muscles and super strength in the same kind of super humble but sexy way that Superman did? Did people consider Jesus too nice or boring? Or was it because Superman was fictitious and Jesus was real? Well, if you listen to atheists and unbelievers, they say Jesus is fictitious. Some Jews do as well. So, that hardly seems to be the reason. Was it because Jesus didn’t bonk bad guys in the head with his muscles or wear tight spandex or show off his muscles and super strength in the same kind of super humble but sexy way that Superman did? Was that really a reason … is that really a reason to hate Jesus?
I hardly think so, and the fictitious aspect doesn’t seem to fly. According to history, Jesus was a real person and not fictitious, because Tacitus, Josephus, the Apocryphal writers, the Jewish writers of the Bible, and numerous other historians all wrote about Him. Again, why hate Jesus but not Superman?
No wonder when the Creator visited mankind as a Jewish baby, He chose to be born in a manger full of animals, instead of an inn full of people. He knew humans well. He knew they were born “in sin” and were therefore insane. “In sin, insane” as one gentleman once stated to me. Wow! That seems way over the top! Is that really the reason? As another expert in mental illness explained to me, brain damage is a physical issue. Insanity is a spiritual issue, not a physical problem. The word “Psyche” means “soul” in its original language. Most people think others are insane, but what they all have in common is that they may think you are crazy, but they generally don’t think that they themselves are crazy, even when they act like it.
Unlike Superman, Jesus tried to help the sin-infected, criminally insane humans on this planet who He knew would refuse His help, hate Him and crucify Him, even after the Roman governor proclaimed that He was innocent. Wasn’t it insane for Pontius Pilate to state that this Man called Jesus, who went about healing and loving people and feeding them, was innocent and then send Him to be crucified anyway? Wasn’t it insane for the chief religious rulers in Jerusalem, who were chief teachers of Law and Order, to break numerous laws of their own canon in order to hold a ‘kangaroo’ court trial with false witnesses in the middle of the night in front of a rigged jury?
Then again, are humans today much better? Isn’t it insane when you hear that a judge has thrown his entire career away for raping a young boy? Or isn’t it insane when you hear that a surgeon has destroyed his reputation by using drugs? Or isn’t it insane when a pastor is found with a prostitute and completely violates everything he believes and everyone who had trusted him?
Superman is cherished as a super hero by most people on the planet today. Jesus is still despised today. The insane rulers of your governments and schools will ban the celebration of Jesus from public schools and public life, but not a celebration of Superman. Both are super men. Both did nice things for people. But one is fictitious and one is historical; yet, we doubt that is truly the reason why. One of these super men told people what they wanted to hear. The other One told people what they needed to hear (although most didn’t heed his warnings).
Superman said nothing to help people spiritually even though the spiritual side of mankind lasts forever. Yet, Jesus was heavily focused on the spiritual realm and on people’s eternity in the next life.
Recently, a senior-level corporate leader shared with me his ‘almost dead’ experience (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know). He explained the amazing things that were in his experience on ‘the other side’ and had the concurrence of at least two other people he knew with almost identical stories. He told me he was fairly depressed when he revived back on this earth and realized that he was not going to be able to enter heaven yet. He was stuck on this earth filled with the pains of this Test called Life. It’s all a Test of your love (or lack thereof) for your Creator. Satan is part of that Test. He and his demons (with the aid of a lot of humans) are constantly testing you with the misery that seems to always be a part of Life. Yet, Satan always does his best to make you think that it is all your Creator’s fault; and the humans aiding Satan continue to work hard to make you think that all the evil they do is really the fault of the believers who follow the Creator. In contrast, your Creator wants you to stop believing these lies and trust Him – He who died for you. He wants you to pass this Test.
But some would ask ‘Why do we even have to go through these tests at all? Why can’t we just have a bed of roses in this life? Well, why did our Creator have to come to earth at all? Why didn’t He just provide salvation without visiting this hurtful planet? Why did He have to die for your sins? Why? The better question is ‘Who?’ Who decided to die in your place? Jesus or Satan? Oh, and Superman – he doesn’t even count since he doesn’t exist, yet some proclaim his greatness and see Jesus as a waste of time or as a story to be banned from the classroom and public forum. Many ban Jesus even still today. Some do so just to keep their friends happy. Yet life is short. It’s very temporary. Where will your friends be when you awake to a whole new eternal world in the next life? Will you awake to a painful, fiery destiny? Or an absolutely amazing one like that senior corporate leader experienced – so amazing he didn’t want to come back to this planet?
Can you explain why Jesus, who was born of the royal line of Judah and who many thought would be King, would instead give His life for mankind out of love? Have you ever seen a Superman who was also a King? Have you ever seen a King willing to die for His citizens? Most politicians that I know would run from any potential risk to their own self-aggrandizement. They don’t usually rush to take the sins of others upon themselves or die in the place of their citizenry.
The temporal things that Superman did in his fictitious life matter nothing. After all, we’re talking imagination – that’s all Superman is – a product of a human’s imagination. The eternal love, hope and transformation that Jesus brought to those who love Him matters for all eternity. Jesus was intent on helping people have their minds restored from sin to a sound mind.
Was it Superman or Jesus who did the following: 1) transformed a demon-possessed man into a sound, healthy person, 2) fed hungry people not just physically but also spiritually in the same day, 3) forgave a man his sins and also healed his lame legs all at the same time, 4) rebuked the chief religious leaders for their fake, self-pious lives and hypocrisy (lots of those around even today in all sorts of religions and denominations), 5) told his biggest fans (disciples) that they must be willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake in order to be a true follower or disciple, 6) explained that people need the Holy Spirit and repentance to gain Heaven by the only Path available – He Himself, the sacrifice for man’s sins. Could this be why a great number of people despise Jesus, but love Superman?
Let’s contrast this difference between the two supermen. While Superman was all about the physical, Jesus was obviously about the spiritual and not just the physical. If Jesus’ purpose was to die for man’s sins as stated in the Bible, that would explain why Jesus, having proven His super powers during His early ministry, didn’t use them to save Himself. He was willingly going to His crucifixion. Let’s go a step further.
For the mission statement of your next ‘start-up business or for the slogan of your next political campaign, try adding the following topics: Hell-fire, sin, self-righteousness, hypocrisy, repentance, faith and lots of quoting of the Creator’s Book. You don’t wish to try it? No?
Having come from the other ‘dimension’ which we will soon know in our afterlife, the Creator wanted to warn people about how horrible the fiery torment in the next life will be for those who reject the Creator’s salvation. Want to try that with your in-laws next week? Or did you want to tell your company execs at work that their sins are a danger to their eternal future?
The Bible, which teaches these things, was written entirely by Jews. Why then do most Jews distance themselves from the Bible as well as their own Messiah (Jesus), who Pilate proclaimed as ‘King of the Jews’? The Jews didn’t want to be identified with Jesus back then and still don’t want to be, but they don’t mind being identified with Superman or Wonder Woman, who are akin to Greek or Roman gods, which their Tanakh or Bible says are an abomination to the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why would they violate their own religious beliefs?
Yet are Gentiles any better? Why do many Gentiles still insanely hate Jews? Could it be their connection with the Messiah (Jesus) and the Bible? After all, the Jews birthed Jesus and the Bible into the world. Another irony is that the Jews don’t seem to be too happy about their Son Jesus, even though the Bible is the most published Book in the World and Jesus is revered greatly by multiple billion-member religions. Most universities would be proud of such accomplishments. What is it about Jesus that makes even His own kinfolk distance themselves from Him, while loving Superman? What is it about Jesus that makes the governments of the earth so uncomfortable with Jesus that many seek to ban Him? What threat is Jesus to the powerful and rich government heads – this Person who went about feeding hungry folk and healing the sick? Why is this Man Jesus, who took time to show kindness to children and heal them, considered such a threat to children in public schools? Why are the stories of His life banned from the curriculum, schools, courts, and reading halls of many nations, even though they are the most ancient works and the most published writings on the earth? Most people love supermen and super heroes. Look at Nazi Germany where the land was crazed with the ‘uber mensch’ or super heroes just before the killings began. Sound like America? People love super heroes with super powers, because these gods in spandex are gods like what they wish to emulate – gods who exemplify their own egos and desires and what they wish they could be. They don’t wish to emulate Jesus by taking up their cross of suffering and following his pattern of selfless love.
Humans love comfort and are willing to do about anything oftentimes to get what they want. Humans back 2,000 years ago were no different. They were willing to crucify their own Creator in order to avoid having to hear Him talk anymore about the things that matter most in life – Truth. Why? Truth convicts. Jesus said it best: “Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” Insanity reigned. It still does. Most wanted the true Creator GOD to go back from where He came. So He did. But not before showing us how much He loved us. And not before giving us hope, joy, love, peace, and Himself as a sacrifice for sin and a Path for us to heaven. As you can tell, that Path is very narrow. Not many travel it.
But as Robert Frost once wrote – taking the Path less traveled can make all the difference.