Jesus Christ: the ultimate Avenger (part 1)

The Avengers

There is one who is even mightier than they, whose sandals they are not worthy to untie.

What a movie!

Full of thrills, chills and explosive action, The Avengers has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of filmgoers across the globe—including me.

It was awesome to see this ensemble of heroes team-up, though with some trepidation, for the cause of saving the world from disaster.

Admittedly, I was stoked when I found out about the release of this film; it was the most excited I had ever been about a movie. As time inched closer to opening day, my excitement grew and I was all the more anxious to view this blockbuster.

When May 4 finally arrived, I actually saw the movie twice, once at midnight and at an 8 p.m. showing (in 3D). Afterwards, The Avengers was all I could talk about or even think about.

I could not help (and still can’t) feeling slightly convicted, however, that I showed this much excitement for a make-believe team of heroes when I cannot remember the last time I was as excited about my real-life hero: Jesus Christ.

Honestly, if I had displayed as much enthusiasm in telling others about Jesus as I did for telling others about how good this movie was, I think I could put Billy Graham to shame.

After watching the film, though, one thing that did come to mind was how much greater Jesus is than Marvel’s stellar cast of Earth’s guardians. Jesus, in so many ways, outshines The Avengers and, in him, we find the ultimate Avenger.

(I know, I know. It is a dead giveaway that Jesus is better than any superhero, with him being God and all, but humor me please.)

I often think about what would happen if Jesus were inserted into a movie. What always results is the realization that said movie would be short-lived.

This time around, I was a little more in-depth with my thinking. Sure, I did briefly ponder Jesus appearing and wiping out the invading alien army with one word. However, I began to think about the parallels between each character and Christ, and how he is specifically superior to each of them.

The following is a byproduct of this journey into creative deliberation.

 HAWKEYE

Hawkeye is the first of the Avengers to make an on-screen appearance in the film. He is a lethal archer with devastatingly pinpoint accuracy. (This guy actually took aim at Loki’s eyeball, while the villain was flying a hovercraft, and would have succeeded had the arrow not been caught—though it did explode.)

As on target as Hawkeye’s arrows are, he is still not as accurate as Jesus. Christ never missed when taking aim at future events. Every time Jesus made a statement depicting what was to come it was 100% accurate.

Consider Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem for his last visit prior to his crucifixion. Luke 19:30-32 reads:

“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.

The same week, while making preparations to celebrate the Passover, Jesus makes another prediction:

“As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. (Luke 22:10-13)

Jesus’ decided advantage over Hawkeye is, surely, articulated by the disciples in John 16:30, “you know all things.” For this reason, Jesus (unlike Hawkeye) will never miss a target when aiming his words into the future.

This is of special importance to us because Jesus tells us, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

As great of an asset that Hawkeye was to S.H.I.E.L.D., he was able to be turned against his allies by the dark magic of Loki, the film’s antagonist. He was otherwise loyal, but the unforeseeable circumstance of being brainwashed caused Hawkeye to switch his allegiance.

On the contrary, Jesus Christ will never turn against you—under any circumstance. Jesus’ own words to us are, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

His love and faithfulness are ever-enduring, even amidst our human inconsistencies.

Second Timothy 2:13 states, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Romans 8:38-39 reads, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Christ’s prophetic prowess and undying love make him a much more reliable option than our friend Hawkeye.

BLACK WIDOW

If nothing else in this movie made me happy, it was certainly seeing Scarlet Johansson play the role of secret agent Natasha Romanoff.  She was sultry and stunning as the Black Widow, while highlighting the character’s stealth and persuasiveness.

You could often find Black Widow using the element of surprise throughout the film. She snuck up on Loki while he was a prisoner on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ship, on Hawkeye before their bout (also on the ship) and on Bruce Banner in attempting to recruit the jolly green scientist.

Similarly, Jesus also displays an element of surprise. In the most literal sense, Jesus stealthily appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, appearing in their midst though they had the doors locked for fear of the Jews (John 20:19).

He was full of surprises in many other ways as well.

At the start of his ministry, Jesus, while at the synagogue in Nazareth, read and applied a passage from Isaiah to himself:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Not only did the attendees stare in disbelief, but were also “amazed.”

When Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth to teach in the synagogue, the Bible says that they were again “amazed,” asking, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers” (Matthew 14:54)?

In John 6:56, Jesus shocks the congregation in attendance at synagogue, saying, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”

Most certainly one of the most surprising incidents in the gospels is Jesus’ claim to divinity. He tells the Pharisees in John 8:58, “I tell you the truth . . . before Abraham was born, I AM!” (I AM, of course, is how God identifies himself to Moses at the burning bush.)

Even upon his return, Jesus will use the element of surprise. He tells us, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40).

Not only was Christ surprising, he was also persuasive. He was a master conversationalist. Much like Black Widow, Christ would interrogate without really interrogating.

Her objective was always to acquire information. Jesus, on the other hand, always wanted his dialogues to end in revelation—where his counterpart is spiritually enlightened as to Christ’s identity.

For instance, in Matthew 16, Christ poses a question to his disciples: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They respond with John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

Jesus, then, brings it home, asking whom his disciples say he is. Peter answers the question that was posed to the group, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). As a result, Jesus tells Peter that this exchange has ended in revelation from God the Father.

In a more deliberate scenario, Christ has an exchange with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.

After being refused a drink of water by the woman, Jesus engages her in a conversation that goes from water, to relationships, to worship and eventually finds its destination on Christ’s identity. John 4:25-26 reads:

The woman said, “I know that the Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

The revelation that the woman had was so convincing that she evangelized her entire town, with many coming to believe in Jesus because of her testimony.

Jesus still has that affect on the human heart even today. He persuades us with his love to come into fellowship with him, and earnestly desires that we answer his call:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

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~ by christianballenger on May 8, 2012.

5 Responses to “Jesus Christ: the ultimate Avenger (part 1)”

  1. Well, you could have stopped at “He lived. They were made up.” but I still enjoyed reading this. While leaning on Jesus is of great and permanent comfort, he hasn’t exactly dropped in out of the sky lately. That’s the “what if” that makes the movie exciting. You don’t need to feel conflicted by enjoying good story telling. It doesn’t make you less of a Christian.

    • Yeah, uncertainty and imagination is definitely what makes for good story telling. It is always interesting to me, though, to draw those Christian parallels. For me, in this film, they more explicitly pointed to Christ. I thought it would be fun, then, to compare these heroes to Jesus in an enlightening and entertaining manner – I hope I’ve accomplished that. Thanks for reading and thank you for your comment.

  2. This is awesome! I’m a youth leader and me and a few other churches are planing a lock-in and wanted to make the theme Superheros. I thought about it and figured Avengers are huge right now so I should find parallels between The Avengers and Bible characters or just compare them all to Jesus. So I googled and found your post. This is really great. Can’t wait for part 2. 🙂

  3. I thought this was an amazing read. I haven’t seen the movie yet (not much of an action movie girl). The imagery you gave however was very vivid, I felt as if I did see the film.I love how you compared the movie to the person/character of Jesus, and illustrated how he is our real heroe.

    A+

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