Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Character and Sacrifice (Fallen Son)

These past five weeks, we have been going over the Fallen Son series and how it pertains to Lent. Yet, both of these instances, Cap's and Christ's deaths, would have been much less significant if we did not already know who these men were. Let's take a step back to remember.

Captain America, without hesitation, fell on a grenade for his comrades. Even though he probably never really knew any of them and had a long life ahead of him, he was willing to give it all in order to save these few. That, my friends is more than patriotism, loyalty, or even bravery. It's courage.

Cap' always did the right thing, he was a person that any man, woman, or child would learn to admire. This was not because he was handsome, all-powerful, or witty; but, because his virtue shown through. He cared for those around them like a brother. He stood up for them, he guarded them, and he would have given his life for them. Cap' didn't turn out as goody-two shoes as Cyclops or as cheesy as Superman, who both get on peoples' nerves sometimes simply because of how perfect they tend to be. Cap' did the right thing, like they did, but not only because it was right. It seemed to be part of his character. He didn't choose to lead the X-Men because it was his responsibility, and he didn't defend Earth just because he had the ability to do so. He did what he did because that was who he was. And, he never took the easy way out. He did what was right, no matter how painful it tended to be. You could never see Cap' as a villain. Even when he legally was (during the Marvel Civil War), it almost forced you to believe that what was being called "right" must have been completely wrong. What made him great wasn't his powers, it was his character and who he was.

Anyone in their right mind would choose to stand by Cap's side. Due, in fact, that he would already have volunteered to be on yours.

This week we specifically, remember the time of Jesus' life between his joyful entrance into Jerusalem, his betrayal at the Garden of Gethsemane, his crucifixion, and death (all leading up to his resurrection on Easter). Yet, all of these things (except the resurrection) would have been extremely less important if we did not know who Jesus was; and only saw him only as a man who was glorified, suffered, and died. Faithfully, we know that he is God

It may have seemed as if I had just glorified a man, Cap'. But, imagine how much greater Christ, as God, had been for us. He became even less ("He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" Philippians 2:8.), so that we could be redeemed as much, much more. Like Cap', it wasn't Christ's miracles or powers that made him great, it was who he was and what he did for us.

Just like Cap' turned himself in to end the bloodshed of the Civil War (the end of Civil War 7 [1]), Christ was willing to go with Judas and the soldiers that night in the garden. He could have put up a fight, fled, or divinely slaughtered them all; but, he chose not to. Christ showed more than loyalty, bravery, and even courage. He displayed limitless love. This is even more love than we or Cap' could be able to muster for his common allies.

He sacrificed himself for us, even more so than Cap' was willing to sacrifice himself. "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Not only did Jesus Christ humble himself to become man and die, he faced death and defeated it. He overpowered Satan and rose again. He stood by our side not only in front of Satan, but also before God. Jesus intercedes and pays for our sins so that we do not get the penalty that we not only deserve, but a debt that we fall into again and again with our own sin.

Yeah, Cap' was good. He was the best. But, Christ... Christ was perfect.

[1] I was going to focus on this point more in this devotion, but thought that doing a parody of Hebrews 3 ("Jesus Greater Than Moses") with "Jesus Greater Than Moses" would have been even better.

1 comment:

  1. And to think even Cap had to go through suspended animation to be good and not effected from society