From Beyond The Universe
In its opening weekend Batman v Superman --Dawn of Justice grossed 166 million. One thing is a fact. Millions around the world are gripped by tales of super heroes, strange visitors from other planets, evil opponents who create chaos for the sheer pleasure of it, and the apparent success of the bad guy, but then the twist when the good guys somehow get it together and beat the bad guys in the end.
At the close of this cartoon adaptation, Luthor, the bad guy who manipulated Superman and Batman to become enemies, has finally been arrested and imprisoned. Batman comes to visit Luthor and the villain gloats over Superman’s death. Now the world is even more vulnerable to alien threats. But then the movie closes with a faint heartbeat. Where’s that sound coming from? It’s Superman’s coffin. Now where do you think that idea came from?
It’s not a Hollywood story we’ve been tracking in our Devos. Luke, the physician and associate of the Apostle Paul, told us at the beginning of his work that he would carefully trace the story of Jesus and give us strong reasons why we can trust Him. We heard Gabriel, an archangel, tell Mary, a young virgin, that she would give birth to a son, the Son of the Most High (Lk. 1;30, 35). This is not a visitor from some distant planet, but from the ultimate place in the universe, God’s throne (Lk. 1:32). This Son of God will also be the Son of David, who fulfills the promise that David’s throne would be established forever (Lk. 1:33). This King is the rising sun who gives us forgiveness, peace, and deliverance from death (Lk. 1:79).
On the night of His birth the shepherds get the message from heaven that Jesus is the Messiah (Lk. 2:11). Simeon, an old man at the Jerusalem Temple, on the eight day of Jesus’ earthly life, holds the baby and declares he is holding God’s Anointed One in his arms (Lk. 2:26-32). As a twelve-year-old, Jesus makes it clear to His parents that He knows that God is His true Father (Lk. 2:49) and the proud Father at His Son’s baptism can’t resist telling us from heaven that this is His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased (Lk. 3:22).
Before Jesus begins His public ministry, it is clear that Satan knows exactly who Jesus is as he tempts Him in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-13). Demons shout out His identity as His power destroys their grip over lives (Lk. 4:34), but His home town in Nazareth rejects Him (Lk. 4:28) and it takes the Twelve, those chosen to travel and minister with Him, all the way until chapter nine before they figure out who Jesus is ( Lk. 9:21). After this confession, Jesus challenges all His followers to be devoted to Him above everything else, willing to give their lives for Him.
He died for us. He rose again, but He also said more. He said He would fulfill the promises made to Daniel that one day God would destroy all the kingdom’s on earth and set up God’s Kingdom (Lk. 9:26).
This is not some make-believe comic book super hero making these claims, but the ultimate God-Man, God’s one and only. And in the first century Jesus predicted that some of His disciples would not die before they got to see what His glory looks like.
“I tell you the truth, some of you who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:27
When did this happen? What was it like and what does it mean? Tell your friends about this Story—a Story that makes a blockbuster comic book movie look quite boring.
LORD, even Hollywood movie makers can’t ignore the power of Your plotlines, like a father sending his son to rescue earth ensnared in evil and the apparent death of that special son, yet resurrection. Help me to capture the meaning of why You sent Your Son the first time in weakness and humility, but help me never to lose the hope that He is coming back in power and glory.
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