The Superman story contains a great many deliberate similarities to the story of Jesus. It’s a great action hero story that helps illuminate The Great Story–the one of God coming to Earth to die for us because of His love.
Note: These notes that accompany the sermon include a guide to the clips used from Man of Steel. If you want, you can view the clips to get a fuller experience of the sermon.
Sermon Series: At the Movies, Man of Steel, April 13, 2014
The character of Superman was created in 1933 by two Jewish en. Appeared in Action Comics in 1938.
Moses comparison as well as Jesus. His Kryptonian name is Kal-El–in Hebrew looks like “voice of God.” A story that bears a strong resemblance to the story of Jesus at a few big points. But it reflects the One Great Story well.
We begin on the doomed planet Krypton. Near the end, the first naturally conceived child in centuries is born.. His father is Jor-El, which has “God” in the name and some have said means “God will uplift”. Bad guy Zod is introduced.
CLIP 1. 8:20 – 9:13 ….our people’s only hope. “Goodbye my son. Our hopes/dreams travel with you.”
As you can imagine, Zod was not happy.
CLIP 2. 12:30 – 12:50 “Heresy!” More use of religious terminology.
The first thing we see him do is save people doomed to destruction aboard an oil rig. Then we see Clark as a young boy, perhaps about 12, the same age as Jesus in the temple. Clark saves classmates from drowning,, which threatens to reveal who he really is.
CLIP 3. 28:16 – 28:31 “This was Providence.”
Here’s the boy and dad conversation after Clark saved the schoolchildren:
CLIP 4. 29:12 – 32:14 What was I supposed to do?….You owe it to yourself to find out….
Then here comes Lois Lane and a spaceship buried in ice. Superman flies the spaceship to a place where he meets the image of his father.
CLIP 5. 47:00 – 48:33 Genesis Chamber to “give them hope.”
Zod finally escapes and threatens to destroy earth unless Superman is handed over to him. Clark struggles with what he should do:
CLIP 6. 1:06:58 – 1:10:03 “Regarding the visitors themselves…” to “The trust part comes later.” (Just like Jesus in Garden of Gethsemane–Matt. 26:36-46.)
Seems like Superman surrenders to evil when he decides to surrender to Zod. But…
CLIP 7. 1:10:50 – 1:12:40 He is in control of His surrender, at the age of 33. Just like Jesus, who surrendered of His own free will to die for our sins.
John 10:17-18 I lay down my life…
He goes into Zod’s spaceship, and Zod explains how he escaped from the spaceship that was his captivity. “And so the instrument of our damnation became our salvation.”
II Cor. 5:21
Happily, the tide turns, and Superman is free to go save the earth now.
CLIP 8–1:25:56 – 1:26:44 “You can save all of them.” Plus note the outstretched arms.
Looks like Zod is defeated. “He saved us!” Yet the Satan character keeps on trying, even after salvation. He accuses Kal of taking his soul.
CLIP 9–2:02:10 – 2:02:23 I’m going to make them suffer, Kal…to And I’m going to stop you.
Then more struggle, like the cosmic struggle between God and Satan today.
CLIP 10–2:07:00 – 2:07:07 “If you love these people so much, you can mourn for them.” Still trying to kill everyone today. Still trying to take our souls. So salvation has come, yet the battle continues.
Superman story is like the booster rocket to the story of Jesus.
Superman and Jesus came because of love. Superman arrived on the scene because of the love of his parents. Jesus arrived on the scene because God loved US!
For God so loved the world….John 3:16
Superman hid his identity because he struggled with who he was, and he had to overcome the reluctance of His parents because he so wanted to help people
Jesus hid His true identity because the timing wasn’t right, but the Bible makes it clear He knew who He was at age 12.. At the end of his life, He knew exactly who He was and what He had to do: John 13:1.
Bottom line: We needed–and need–saving. Not from drowning, or from aliens. It’s a matter of sin, that separated us from God, left us vulnerable to His wrath, and stopped up God’s plan for a close, transformative relationship with His people. God sent His son to earth to take all that wrath for us because He loved us. As we each respond to His call to come to Him, we each are saved.