“…I have to believe you were sent here for a reason, and even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.”
I have to be honest, I went into Man of Steel fully prepared to gleefully examine and digest, like the dork I am, all of the parallels between Superman and Jesus; to enjoy the comparison of a fantastic modern hero with the One some boldly call the greatest superhero of all time. And to some extent I did, as those themes are there, including many of the parallels I had hoped to see.
But what I walked away from the film with was far simpler.
I am called to be Superman.
It might sound a little silly when I phrase it like that, but when all is said and done, my purpose and mandate in life (every Christian’s purpose, one could argue) is exactly the same as his:
To release hope to the world.
To stand boldly for truth and justice.
To value life.
To study and seek to understand, and value, the power within us.
To rescue a world in need.
Every time I watched the previous Superman films, I always saw the comparison between Superman and Jesus… and left it at that. But if we are called to do the works that Jesus did – and greater – and we are filled with His Spirit, than the comparison doesn’t just exist between Superman and Jesus… it exists between Superman and ME. Sure, I don’t have superpowers quite the way we see them in the film (at least I don’t think I do?!), nor do I have a sleek super suit (boo!), but I don’t need something emblazoned on my chest to know that my job here on earth is to offer hope, to fight for those who need my help, and to release the Power that is within me.
Man of Steel showed Superman can be a great symbol of Jesus, and I love that films can explore such ideas… I hope the others in the franchise will as well. But in the end, I think Man of Steel will serve as a good reminder for me that, like Kal-El, I was sent here for a purpose, and, like Clark, I can choose to seek out that purpose, to embrace who I was made to be, and ultimately, to offer hope to a world desperately in need.
“The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives…
God sent me to announce the year of his grace…
Isaiah 61:1 – 2
Man of Steel
Copyright: Warner Brothers, 2013
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, et al
Directed by: Zach Snyder
Written by: David S. Goyer