Action Figure Jesus

Jesus is not a super hero.

He’s not.

Super heros do super crazy extraordinary things with their super powers and Jesus certainly has “super” power and certainly does “super” things. But that commonality is not enough.

Super heros save people from super villains. I suppose Jesus does that in a way. Mostly, though, he saves us from our own sin. Trust me when I say that I don’t need Satan to hold me hostage for me to be in a place from which I need saving.

Super heros wear interesting costumes. I know that from our 21st Century perspective, the white robe and sash look a little like a costume — that sash might be able to double as a cape — but this was just regular guy wear in Nazareth at the time when Rome occupied the land.

Here’s the dramatically distinguishing difference. Super heros have flaws. Most of them have a dark side that comes from a sort of woundedness which pushes them to be who they are. The only wounds Jesus has are the ones he took so we wouldn’t have to. And, more importantly, Jesus does not have a dark side. There is no sin in him. None.

In order to be a good super hero, one must have flaws. Jesus has no flaws.

There are many descriptions of Jesus in the Bible. This is one of my favorite (from Philippians 2, New Living Translation). When you read it, you may come to the same conclusion that I do. First, there is no way they’d market an action figure with this text — just wouldn’t sell. And second…Jesus is no super hero. Jesus is the Lord and King of all creation — the very Son of God, Messiah, and my Savior.

Though he was God 
  he did not think of equality with God
  as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
  he took the humble position of a slave
  and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
  and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
  and gave him the name above all other names,
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.

One thought on “Action Figure Jesus

  1. vrain says:

    Well thought blog Ruth. I so appreciate your perspective on this and the truth of who Jesus really is. 2 Corinthians 4:6
    For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a]made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    The part of our culture that creates these kinds of items has always fascinated me. There is an entire product line around these action figures. http://www.mcphee.com/shop/categories/Awesome-Stuff/Religion/
    It has become a bit of a joke between me and a missionary friend of mine to find unique expressions of this around the world. We have sent these figures to one another at holidays and birthdays – I now have many of the saints, and most of the action hero renditions of the Jesus figure. Though I display them only in my home office (out of public view) – they serve as a reminder to me that I can make anything or any part of my experience seem holy – and that is not always good. I use these gifts from my friend as the reminder that my expression or image of Jesus has to come from the Word alone…but they still make me smile.

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