Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” -Matthew 27:45
People want a hero.
We live in an age of moral instability. God does not exist, and neither does absolute truth. Right and wrong are subjective, what is wrong for one person might be right for another. Good and bad are simply a matter of opinion and forcing your opinion on someone else is not to be tolerated. But for all our “enlightened” ideas, we still know that safety and security cannot endure in a world where principles are condemned and righteousness despised. As Ravi Zacharias pointed out, even those in favor of subjective moral reasoning still lock their doors at night. The world is a dangerous place, crime and violence seem out of control and getting worse. Deep down many fear that one day the world will plunge into darkness and evil will reign supreme.
Superhero movies are insanely popular (billions-of-dollars popular) not only because people can watch them to shut out that feeling of dread for a moment, but also to indulge in the fantasy that there could be someone out there who can save us. Maybe an alien from another world or a rich guy with advanced technology or the subject of a top-secret lab experiment, but someone who can rise above this chaos and contend with evil on our behalf. Someone who loves humanity so much and has such great power, that he will deliver us or die trying – but not expect anything other than applause from us. People want a higher power without the resulting personal accountability. People want a hero, preferably a superhero.
But so far, he hasn’t been found. Maybe he is just waiting for the right moment to hurtle through the clouds and introduce himself, but why hasn’t he done so already? Where was he on 9/11? Where was he when Paris was struck by terrorists? Where was he when Brussels was bombed? The world needs him, so why doesn’t he show himself? People fill up their free time with sports, parties, movies, bars, and anything they can find to distract themselves from a hopeless situation and the sinking realization that if our world does have a superhero, he must not care about us. That the only god we’d be willing to accept does not exist or has let us down.
Lex Luthor summed the feeling up for us in Batman vs. Superman, “If God is all-powerful, he cannot be all good. And if he is all good, he cannot be all-powerful.”
People want a hero. And today we celebrate Good Friday – the day our hero died to deliver us from the powers of darkness and paid our ransom with His blood.
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep God is not dead nor doth He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men!” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow