My children and I watched the movie "Man of Steel" this weekend, and we enjoyed it very much. As I have reflected on the story of Kal-el, I have noticed lots of parallels between his story and the Jesus story. Nevertheless, I have also noticed some profound differences, and it is the differences that I believe make the good news so good.
Let's begin with the similarities. Certainly, Kal-el comes from another world. He appears human, but he is not. The symbol given to Kal-el by his father to wear means hope, symbolizing that he is the hope of both Krypton and earth. Kal-el is often ridiculed, and persecuted for his righteousness as he refuses to fight back, choosing instead to "turn the other cheek". Finally, my favorite quote of the movie also captures the similarity, as Kal-el tells the general, "You cannot control me and you never will, but that does not make me your enemy." The religious leaders also desired to control Jesus, and their inability to control Him led them to believe He was their enemy as well. I am sure there are other similarities as well, but now let's move to the differences.
It is the differences that I believe reveal the goodness of the good news. Whereas, Kal-el comes from another world and appears to be human, he is not. Jesus, however, is the eternal Son of God; i.e. He does come from another world, but He is also fully and completely human. Kal-el is persecuted and bullied, but he knew his oppressors could not hurt him. Jesus bruises and bleeds. He can be hurt and actually is physically and emotionally hurt by His oppressors, yet He still refuses to fight back. And I believe that is the main difference between Jesus and Kal-el. Jesus was human. He understood our weakness, He carried our sorrows, and ultimately Jesus was able to transform them into real hope and true redemption.
The goodness of the good news is found in Jesus' humanity because only as a human is He able to change our destiny from condemnation to reconciliation so that we can live right with God for all eternity. Taking on our humanity and transforming it is what sets the Man of Sorrows apart from the Man of Steel.
What are your thoughts? I look forward to reading them.