Superman: A Christ Figure.
The Big Idea: The comic book hero Superman is a Christ figure, whose heroism inspires us to discover the world’s greatest Superhero: Jesus Christ.
Almost from the beginning of the creation of the comic book hero Superman, people have drawn analogies between him and Jesus. In his book, The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero, Stephen Skelton wrote: “Superman is not Jesus Christ. But he is a Christ figure, a figure resembling Christ, as we all should be. That said, the story of Superman bears some incredible parallels to the story of the Super Man, Jesus Christ.”
Here’s a little bit of background to the story of Superman, and a look at some of the similarities between the Man of Steel (Superman) and the Son of God (Jesus). First of all, Superman was created by two Canadian Jewish teenagers – Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Jerry and Joe were Jewish boys who believed in the Old Testament Scriptures. In fact, Siegel was inspired by the Bible hero Samson for Superman’s strength. Samson was a real hero in the Bible who God supernaturally empowered to be able to perform incredible feats of strength.
In the 2006 movie Superman Returns, when Jor-El sends Kal-El (Superman) to Earth, he says: “Even though you’ve been raised as a human being you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I have sent them you, my only son.” Does that story sound familiar? A Father sends His only begotten son into the world, to be the Light to show people the way. That sounds a lot like Jesus!
Also in Superman Returns, “Lois and Superman discuss at length whether she and the world need a savior. He tells her that with his god-like listening powers, he hears people crying out for one every day. The climactic battle with Lex Luthor escalates the connection. In the final battle, Superman is attacked in a manner similar to the account of Jesus’ death and then experiences a resurrection from a watery grave. At one point, he even assumes the physical position of Christ on the cross as he sacrifices himself to save humanity.” (Christopher Lyon, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In).
In the movie, Superman is willing to sacrifice his life to save the world. In the same way, Jesus actually did give up His life to save the world. Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13). What an amazing thought, that Jesus loved us so much He died for us. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).
Focus on the Family even observes the comparisons between Superman and Jesus in the new 2013 film. “The Man of Steel movie is one of the most spiritually symbolic and Messianic-image-packed treatments ever made about this character. Here, Clark Kent even comes to understand—at the age of 33, no less—his responsibility to step up, face off with and destroy an ultimate evil that threatens all mankind. (When Jesus went to the Cross to face off with and defeat sin and Satan, He was 33 years old). All through this film dialogue and images hint at connections between Superman and Jesus. Several people talk to Clark about his ability to save the people on Earth. Superman levitates with his arms spread in a cross-like form on several occasions.” (Bob Hoose, Plugged In).
Pastor Chris Jordan