The World Wanted a Superhero. What We Got was a Savior

So, this is Good Friday. The day God shows us the extent to which He will go to save us from ourselves. This is the God who bled and died for me and for you, to pay the price for all the stupid things we’ve ever done.

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

I know that it had to happen this way, that without Good Friday, there is no Easter.

But I have a confession to make: every time I reach the place in one of the Gospels where it describes the terrible ordeal Jesus endured on Good Friday, I wish it didn’t have to be that way.

It’s like watching your favorite movie for the tenth or hundredth time. No matter how many times or how loudly you warn the hero not to make that ill-fated decision, they still do it. They open the door to the closet where the guy with the chainsaw is hiding.

What’s especially challenging for me is a passage like this:

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

Matthew 26:50b-53 (NIV, emphasis added)

Another confession: every time I read this, I want Jesus to call out to God so the twelve legions of angels will swoop in and rain down all kinds of terror on the evil people preparing to torture to death the greatest man who ever lived.

Can you imagine the self-restraint Jesus exercised to not do that? I know I’d be much more inclined to bring in the angels than I would be to endure the misery Jesus knew was coming.

But that’s the difference–one of many–between Jesus and me. He did what He knew needed to be done to save rotten people like me and you. He knew He needed to walk through the crucifixion to storm the gates of hell to rescue us. He had to face death so He could defeat it and be raised to life again.

Photo by Alicia Quan on Unsplash

That’s the difference between a superhero and a savior.

We wanted a superhero to win the fight today, to wreak all kinds of havoc on the bad guys. We wanted a superhero who would kick the Romans out of Israel and restore God’s chosen people to their rightful place in the world order. We wanted a superhero who would automatically answer all of our prayers in exactly the right way (by our definition), like a cosmic vending machine.

But what we got was even better, albeit completely baffling to us.

I mean, who ever thought that the Messiah could be killed? That makes no sense. And just think how the Jews would have adored Jesus if He had found a way to defeat the hated Romans! But instead, He prayed for them.

What we got was someone who appeared to lose the battle, but who actually won the whole war, who settled things for all eternity.

What we got was a Savior who repeatedly exercised incredible self-restraint so that He could actually receive the punishment we deserve. He allowed Himself to be killed so that we could live.

Again, it makes no sense, but I’ll take it. With humility and gratitude, I accept His sacrifice. Reluctantly, I thank God for Good Friday, and I’m glad He sent us a Savior instead of a superhero.

Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

About Writing & Photography by David K. Carpenter

Photographer of Light and Life, Writer of Life as it finds me
This entry was posted in Christian, Faith and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The World Wanted a Superhero. What We Got was a Savior

  1. djlcon says:

    Many times in my faith journey i have been told” without a Good Friday there is no Easter” and I believe that. But to know that our savior put himself through the Passion for us tears my heart sometimes… most times . There is a line in a hymn that asks” do i know what it cost to put my sin on that cross” Every Good Friday I realize !
    Thanks be to God
    Thanks for the extra blog SIL

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