Superman – The Salvation of a Vulnerable Hero

ImageMy oldest kids and I watched Man of Steel this weekend – and it produced a whole slew of thoughts in my head. I won’t get too crazy in all the Christian themes I saw waving around in it, (from the “remarkable” birth to the 33 years to the ‘giving himself’ up for the world’s good) but one of the key themes hits at a core of our humanity.

Vulnerability.

A key heroic quality is making oneself vulnerable for the good of someone else. It’s an act of love – and a soul-marker of honor.

No one likes to be vulnerable. In fact, when I’m writing stories, the one thing my characters cling to like the ring of power is their shield against vulnerability. Their personal vulnerability. That’s why true love is so beautiful. We become vulnerable to someone else and trust them to take care of that tender piece of ourselves that few others know about. Our ‘kryptonite’, so to speak.

In Man of Steel, it is very clear that Superman’s greatest vulnerability (even stated outright by the bad guys) is his compassion for the humans. His love for them. He became vulnerable to his enemies by getting on the enemy spaceship for the good of humans. He became vulnerable to death….

Get my drift?

Jesus never wore a red cape or fist-slammed General Zod. In fact, Jesus didn’t fight back….he gave himself up! Became vulnerable to death, the Bible says, ‘Even death on a cross’ (which was beyond-horrible and carried a nasty stigma along with it)

The God-man who walked among us, otherworldly, still felt the barbs, stings, and rejection as any human. He knew loss, deception, agony, fear…everything that makes us vulnerable.

Yet, his sheer act of love turned the tables on Death and the grave.

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http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2013/06/should-you-use-superman-movie-in-your.html

The power in that love crushed the head of the Devil.

And once the time is right, the eternal potency in that love will complete its purpose of sending death, hell, and the devil into a “black hole” for all eternity.

Puts a whole new spin on Philippians 2:4-11, doesn’t it?

 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men.

 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because of HIS love, we are rescued. Because he ‘saved the world’, we are made right with God.

sWe are no longer vulnerable to God’s wrath toward sin, because Christ’s love (through his perfect life and selfless death) smashed the kryptonite!

Living with the knowledge of being loved like this gives power to our lives and hope (the ‘S’, if you’re a kryptonian) to our futures.

We are loved!

In a super-human kind of way 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Superman – The Salvation of a Vulnerable Hero

  1. I’m seeing Man of Steel tonight…which I’m so pumped about. But I just have to tell you, this piece of your post soooo resonated with me:

    “A key heroic quality is making oneself vulnerable for the good of someone else. It’s an act of love – and a soul-marker of honor.”

    It’s making me think about the book I just finished…but also about life…and Christ…and the amazing reality of God becoming man…the most amazing act of vulnerability ever. Just…wow.

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    1. Oh Melissa,
      I hope you like the movie. It’s a fine movie. too many explosions and long fight sequences. I wanted more of the storyline between him and Lois, because the scenes with them were cute. But wow! the parent scenes were great!
      And of course, you get to watch Henery Cavill 🙂

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  2. Hi, Pepper! You are so right. I picked up on the similarity right away, too. But your post made it much stronger. Remember when his father says “He will be a god to them.” The father sending the son to earth. Wow. I wonder if the creator of Superman did this consciously or unconsciously.
    And I agree. Needed much more building up of the love connection between Lois and Clark. Didn’t really ring true to me because they didn’t build up to it properly.
    Us picky writers, eh? LOL.

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    1. I know, Susan. It was great to see all those elements. I don’t think they were on purpose…in ‘human’ terms anyway – but you know how cool God is at getting what he wants done 🙂

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  3. Goodness, the spiritual themes were so incredibly strong in this movie. While I got really tired of the fighting, I truly loved the family scenes and getting to see a glimpse of Clark dealing with his powers as a child. And Henry….sigh. 🙂

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