Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, up in the sky … It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s superman. This is the stuff kids dream of, the stuff I dreamed of … the guy wearing the mask and the red cape. He is the hero out there fighting crime for me and all the other innocents … standing bravely for truth, justice and the American way …. making our world a better place. He’s mowing down the bad guys, saving old ladies and babies, setting the record straight, restoring order to our world. He’s strong and handsome. He’s winsome and wise. He’s faster than a speeding bullet for goodness sakes, not to mention he has the greatest gadgets and gear. This is the kind of hero we have been waiting for.
I’m always amazed how after all these years I still look for a hero I can see. Don’t misunderstand me; Jesus is totally my hero, without question. I know full well He is the one. But like the children of Israel, I say it and mean it with all my heart … I’m all in! As I am worshipping the one true God, suddenly, something bright and shiny flies past my peripherals and I’m taken in. What in the world? My head jerks to the side following the image. I look back at Jesus politely holding up my pointer while at the same time flashing a smile mouthing the words, “I’ll be right back.” I side step away from Jesus for just a second to go investigate the situation. My attention is captured when I see the red cape cascading in the wind. I find myself chasing after this superhero to get a better view.
I got to the end of the sidewalk only to find out the hero I chased wasn’t real. He was an illusion. I was disappointed. I had hoped he could help. I had been so sure. I stopped running as I rested both hands on my knees to catch my breath as beads of sweat rolled down my back. I looked back over my shoulder, how far had I gone? I lowered my head and felt shame and regret. How could I have been taken in again? I knew better. My “I’ll be right back” turned into more time than I intended. I slowly turned around and looked back to the place where I’d left Jesus. He was still there. I felt relief flood my body. He didn’t leave me when I left him. He was still there waiting for me to come back. His face wasn’t angry and his arms were open wide. I lifted my hands off my knees while straightening my back. I used my bent arms to propel me forward. I ran as fast as I could back to the place I first found Jesus. I was overcome with joy that he was still there. He wasn’t flashy, he wasn’t wearing a red cape, he had no mask, I was sure he was stronger than a locomotive cause he created, well, everything. My hero! My Savior, my Redeemer, my friend, my all in all, my hope, my rest, my joy, my peace and my life…Jesus.
The whole world is looking for a hero. They are looking for someone to help rescue them from the terror and plight they find themselves in. I watch it on TV and feel burdened, but the masses of people lost in the sea of humanity are quite literally living their life the best they can. I weep for them and truly pray they are rescued. The trucks of food and water sent from people who care, never seem to make it to the ones who need it because of the evil standing in the way. We can’t imagine people could be so cruel, so inhumane. We give money to help, only to find out the organization we donated our money to was a fraud. We cry out in anger at the injustice of it all. We hope the world’s leaders would make it right. We pray for peace on earth. We trust in government programs as the answer, but it never seems to happen. It just gets worse. The story of inexplicable need is repeated generation after generation.
People need a hero, they need someone to give them hope that, surely to goodness, this isn’t all there is. They need an advocate to stand for them and restore their dignity; they need a savior to take their pain. They need the one and only real hero who can make good on the follow through. There is only one who is able to do this. The only one who is the lifter of the head, the living water that will never run dry, the bread of life for the hungry, the healer, the sustainer of life, the eternal hope, the mighty counselor for the troubled soul, the solid place to rest their weary heads, the redeemer of their lost soul, and his name is Jesus.
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.” (2 Corinthians 1:10)
“For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight.” (Psalm 72:12-14)
“When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors He will send them a savior and defender, and He will rescue them.” (Isaiah 19:20)