If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m a bit of a nerd. I like books and movies, and my favorites tend to have some kind of fantasy or science fiction element. Or they should at least take place in the past and have interesting costumes or settings and characters with accents. Some movies are enjoyed best on the big screen, and I’ve been known to go to the theater to see a movie a second time—or a third.
Yesterday, I went to see Wonder Woman again with my daughter. I liked the adventure, the costumes, and the settings, but mostly I enjoyed the story. I wrote about it in a post a few weeks ago, but I knew there was more about the story than I had touched on. In fact, there is one important aspect to the story I don’t want to pass over. So, I am writing a second post on Wonder Woman (and not only so I can justify seeing the movie again).
I think it would be difficult for any Christian watching this movie to miss the parallels to the story of Jesus. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, is the daughter of Zeus and the Amazonian queen—a union of god and mortal. Jesus is the Son of God but born of Mary—a union of man and God. Diana was brought into the world to end the reign of evil instigated by Aries, the god of war. Jesus was sent into the world to destroy the power of sin instigated by Satan, an angelic being. And if those similarities weren’t obvious enough, Diana even strikes a pose at the climax of the movie where she takes the full brunt of Aries’ attack and hangs in the air with her arms outstretched, making the form of a cross.
Diana wins against Aries. Jesus won against Satan. And all is good and right in the end. –Or not.
The point the Wonder Woman movie takes pains to make is that Diana’s victory is a hollow one. She can finally see that all the evil in the world is not a direct result of Aries’ meddling, and it won’t stop just because Aries has been defeated. Every human has both light and dark within them, and they can choose to act either for good or bad. As Diana muses at the end, that’s something no hero can fix.
Many people in our society have drawn a similar conclusion about Jesus. He came, he died, he left, and sin and evil continue. It seems as if whatever it is that ails humanity is something no hero—no god—and no Savior can fix.
It is this kind of thinking which has driven so many people today into the arms of humanism (the idea that humanity must depend on itself to find a way out of its own troubles), scientism (a commitment to the advancement of knowledge to solve our troubles), or nihilism (the abandonment of hope that our problems can be solved). What they fail to see is the HOPE that only Jesus offers.
The story of Jesus—the story of the whole Bible—is that a Savior can fix what ails us.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
It’s true that no demigod, caped crusader, man of steel, or mighty avenger is going to save the human race. And humanity isn’t going to save itself. “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
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What is my mission as an author? The goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.