Monday, November 11, 2013

The Day Superman Died.

I was sitting in church yesterday and the worship leader made some reference to Jesus as being our "Superman". Right then and there, it got me to thinking about today's post.

George Reeves. Look at those "padded" muscles, able
to bend steel bars with his bare hands!
I grew up with Superman. When I was a little kid, I watched Superman on  black & white TV (that's pretty much all there was). In the television series, Superman was played by George Reeves. Even as a kid, me and my friends thought he looked too old and his phony muscles came from the poorly-padded costume that he wore. Still, I was a faithful fan of the old Superman TV series, and rediscovered it in color in the 1960s.

I also remember the day Superman died. June 16, 1959 from a gunshot wound to the head. From the description at the time, it was an apparent suicide. My comic book hero was dead. Unbelievable! Some of the innocence of my childhood died that day as well. The realization hit me that my TV heroes were flawed individuals who had the same struggles as me, maybe more so because they were continually forced into a TV personna that was so disconnected from their everyday life. This truth was brought home again this past summer with the tragic death of Cory Monteith from Glee. Who would have imagined that this handsome young actor would die alone in a Vancouver, BC hotel from a drug overdose?

The sad irony is that George Reeves played a character on TV who always came to the rescue in the nick of time, to save ordinary people from the clutches of death and despair. But in real life, when the actor, George Reeves, faced that same dilemma, he felt like he was alone with no one to save him. I wish he could have met the real Superman--the one who saved me just a few years later.

I did meet the real superman about four years after the death of George Reeves. This Superman came to earth to save mankind and like the comic book hero, he too started his public mission at age 30. The Superman I'm referring to is Jesus Christ. I found him at the L.A. Coliseum on a Thursday night in September 1963. I wasn't even looking for him, but he came knocking on my door as I was seated in the top row of the Coliseum. My heart was pounding and he had my attention.

This Superman, Jesus, the Messiah, was and is the true hero. He's able to do a whole lot more than leap tall buildings in a single bound, or bend steel with his bare hands. He set me free from the guilt of my sins. He offered me forgiveness and a new life. I don't have to wait for him to find a phone booth to change out of his street clothes into his "outfit". This superman lives inside of me by his spirit. He's with me 24/7. He directs my steps. As the Psalmist says, "...he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul."
Kirsten Powers, Reluctant Follower of Jesus the Messiah
This past week I read the story of someone else who met "Superman", aka Jesus, the Messiah. Kirsten Powers, columnist for the Daily Beast and Fox News contributor and analyst writes in the latest issue of Christianity Today about how she became a reluctant follower of Jesus the Messiah. She says,
After college I worked as an appointee in the Clinton administration from 1992 toy 1998. The White House surrounded me with intellectual people who, if they had any deep faith in God, never expressed it. Later, when I moved to New York, where I worked in Democratic politics, my world became aggressively secular. Everyone I knew was politically left-leaning, and my group of friends was overwhelmingly atheist.
As she herself puts it, she was "creeped out" by evangelical Christians whom she derided as anti-intellectual bigots. But God knew her address and knew how to get her attention. The hound of heaven tracked her down while on a trip to Taiwan. He came to her in a dream, and her life hasn't been the same since. (Read all of Kirsten Powers' story: "Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower" at Christianity Today).

This Superman, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6) is at work today opening blind eyes of those who may hate him or despise his followers. Because He is the God of mercy, He delights in revealing Himself to those who are his supposed enemies.

Jesus is showing himself to Muslims and people of other faiths every day in dreams and visions. He is the one true Superman who has come to earth to save mankind, to save us from our sins and to bring us into a relationship with God, the Father. It's not about going to heaven--it's about knowing the one true God, the One who is the creator of heaven and earth, and his purpose for our lives right here and now!

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