Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Superman? Everyman!"

    Many years ago, a preacher postulated about the greatest of all modern mythological superheroes.  "Why are people so fascinated by Superman?  There's already been a "superman" in human history, the Lord Jesus Christ!  And He's not a myth!"

    Certainly our brother of old meant well in his affirmation of our blessed Savior.  But is it true that the Lord Jesus lived His earthly lifetime as a superman?  His own words provide the answer.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.  For what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise… I can of Mine own self do nothing" (John 5:19; 30).
     "The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10).
     "I live by the Father" (John 6:57).

    Without relinquishing His Divinity, the Lord Jesus took upon Himself the humanity that required His complete dependence on the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Our redemption required His identification with us not only in the fact of our humanity, but in the function of it.  Just as we must live by faith in God due to the weakness and limitations of humanity, so did our Savior.  "In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:17-18).

   Had the Lord Jesus' robe included an identifying insignia, it would not have been an "S", but rather an "E".  He lived His life as Everyman.  In order to justifiably make atonement for our sins as the Lamb of God, He had to identify with His sheep in all things, including the challenge of every temptation.  He never sinned, praise His holy name, but He faced the pressures of the world, the devil, and the flesh as do we ourselves.  The "fiery darts" of confrontation did not bounce off His chest, as bullets harmlessly deflected from Superman (Ephesians 6:16).  They rather penetrated into the Lord's heart and mind, wherein He overcame by faith in His Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, He knows.  He knows what you and I experience in our challenges, and He knows far more because He alone was "tempted in all points like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15).  When He refused the offerings of temptation, He felt the pains of sacrifice that always accompany forgoing the momentary pleasures of sin.  Moreover, as the spotless Lamb of God, He qualified by His perfect lifetime of faithfulness "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."

    I have loved the mythological Superman since I was a small child.  He could squash the far inferior Spiderman like, well, like a bug! :)  In truth, though, I don't love Superman.  He is a myth, and even if he were real, could we really love someone whose being experience so differs from our own?  We can love Everyman, however.  We cn love the Lord Jesus because He so loved us as to become us.  Indeed, how can we not love Him?  His devotion to us includes identification with us to the degree that He remains human even in His resurrected, glorified state as the risen Christ (I Timothy 2:5).  Certainly we rightly admire and reverence Him in heroic terms, but we cherish and love Him because for our sakes, the Lord Jesus is Everyman.

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." 
(Hebrews 2:14)
"There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
(Psalm 118:24)

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