The Ultimate Superhero

Roone AcreeBy Roone AcreeDecember 21, 20225 Minutes

Most everybody remembers that favorite toy they received at Christmas.

For me, it was Stretch Armstrong. You know, that muscle-bound action figure made of latex and goo that you could stretch around the earth’s orbit and back. I got him when I was six.

He had been on my wish list awhile and was one of those gifts you just can’t wait to open. Somewhere between a jumbo bag of licorice and a handmade sweater from my grandmother that felt like sandpaper and porcupine quills … I tore open the wrapping. And there he was … Stretch Armstrong.

The superhero of superheroes.

He was the essence of strength and resilience. You could pull, prod, or poke his body, and no matter what kind of abuse you dished out, he would always shrink back to his original shape – good as new.

And he was never vanquished by his enemies. He was never outdone by any plot unfolding against him. Even if he was pinned down by enemy fire — trapped between a box of corn flakes and a toaster oven  — he would find a way to escape and defeat his nemesis with his pliable powers and superhuman strength.

To me, Stretch was the epitome of tenacity and courage. The paragon of goodness and decency. I considered him to be the perfect superhero — and yet, as I grew older, I realized that he was but a mere shadow of the divine superhero my heart actually yearned for.

Now that’s not a slam against Stretch or anyone wearing a mask, cape, or black underwear, but I believe there is something within us that longs for the true Redeemer of our souls. Someone who can conquer our enemy and give our hearts eternal joy.

Jesus is that someone … and nobody in the vast pantheon of superheroes can hold a candle to His goodness. Jesus conquered death and was resurrected just for us. He leads us to salvation because He loves us enough to give us life with Him in Heaven.

All things must submit to Him because He was given all authority in Heaven and earth (Matt. 28:19). And He understands us intimately and completely. He gets our weaknesses and struggles because He Himself was tempted in the world just like we are.

There’s an expression that says, “The Gospel is the only story where the Hero dies for the villain.” Well, in our case I believe that’s true. We are all sinners who have fallen tragically short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). All of us are villains because our sinful nature runs contrary to God’s ways, putting us at enmity with Him.

That is why Jesus is better than any superhero.  He doesn’t just defeat our sinful nature — He transforms us into what He is. You can pick any character out there — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, or even Stretch himself — and all have cool powers and abilities. But none of them are in the business of transforming us to look like them.

Only Jesus Christ wants to make us into His image. And He wants to supernaturally fill us, so we can fully experience the power of His love and grace in our lives.

So let’s rejoice this Christmas because we have the One who has rescued us from our sin and darkness. We can trust in Him because He knows our name and loves us with a love that conquered death itself.

We don’t have to look to a world full of fictitious superheroes. We just have to look to the one Savior that delivers on His promises in His everlasting Word.

Jesus. The living Savior. The ultimate superhero.

The One who is worthy of our worship. And the One who died so we all could live.

Merry Christmas.