The Amazing Jesus!

In our last article Savior of Superheroes I have warned you about reading Hebrews Chapter 2. For those who listened, well done good and faithful readers! For those who ignored my warning, you rebels , I like you! This follow-up article is an imperfect attempt to help our friends who read that chapter of Hebrews. I bet they now feel lost with lots of questions like, “How did Jesus become the ultimate Superhero? How did he change everything? Why Him?” Or maybe you are not that curious.

Just like our lost fellows, this Letter to the Hebrews was for those who were evaluating Jesus. They were Jewish people. They were struggling to make sense of their faith because this time it became crazy confusing for them. In many ways, God Himself spoke to them and even designed all their practices from baby-sitting to socializing. For them, these were not great suggestions but commandments. They were also promised to receive a great champion who will deliver them from their oppressors. He will make real all the hopes of the Jewish people. They titled him “Messiah” – or simply the ultimate Superhero in our comical language. Jesus then stood and claimed that title (no dramatic fireworks though). This is the part where people choked in their gatherings over some unleavened bread. Here’s how the writer of Hebrews talked about Jesus.

1. Jesus is Super!

The writer claims that Jesus is the “exact imprint of God’s nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.” What else could be a more excellent description of a person than that? He is supreme over the angels and they obey him. So if he speaks, you better listen (Hebrews 12:25). I don’t know a better qualification for a Savior or Superhero than that. That’s the general picture of Hebrews Chapter 1.

2. Jesus: The truest human

This is by far the most intimate part of Jesus in relation to us. He learned how to eat vegetables. He learned his math. As a boy, he might have asked you to be his playmate. He learned how to strap his sandals. He grew his beard. He read books. He experienced physical and mental growth, hunger, thirst, emotional outburst, shed tears and blood. History affirms that he was an actual human like you and me. Our modern version of him has mystified and sanitized him of his humanity. In short, we photoshoped him. But the Bible refuses to airbrush his skin tone and yet he was perfect in every sense.

Are we as human as Jesus? He is not only as human as we are; he is more human than us.

Hebrews Chapter 2 masterfully shows how Jesus demonstrated perfect humanity through suffering. The writer began by affirming the crowning glory of Man in God’s creation. Man was called to share rulership with God over the world (Hebrews 2:5-8) by “putting everything in subjection under his feet”. It is not difficult to see how much we’ve messed up with that task. Now when Jesus took that task, he used the limitations of being human as a platform to show what it is like to be a true man. The injustices of his time, his poverty, his despair over betrayal, his lack of political influence, his loss to a proper trial, the spitting on his face, through all of these Jesus never failed to be perfect. On the other hand, we use those real sad conditions to rationalize our sins but Jesus did not. Though he suffered, he did earn his crown with glory and honor as a man (Hebrews 2:9). Are we as human as Jesus? He is not only as human as we are; he is more human than us.

3. Jesus sufficiently saves

Along with his victory during his life and death on earth, was the defeat of the Evil Boss –the devil (Hebrews 2:2:14). He disarmed the enemy of its enslaving power of death by absorbing the worst of it to himself. It’s like Jesus covered the bomb with his body so that others may survive and be free. He could have just run away from the explosion. He could have just lived perfectly and walkout unashamed which is not a bad ending. Yet he took the pain of putting up with our selfishness. Underwent all kinds of temptation. He took the time to understand our rather unpleasant characters by living amongst us in a rather unpleasant time and place in history. He had a deep awareness of the human struggles so much so that he can truly stand on our behalf. This standing in behalf of others was reserved for a high priest to do. So on the cross, like a high priest, Jesus stood and died truly in his people’s behalf. He was the perfect payment that God accepted for all time.

“Don’t miss this!” the writer of Hebrews insisted. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation which Jesus himself testified? (Hebrews 2:1-3). There have been a lot of alternative solutions (or competing Superheroes) to the problem of sin and death. But Christ claims superiority over them. If indeed his humanity and work were perfect, then he is the end of all sacrifices, all temples and all high priesthoods.

Did Jesus comply with our Superhero must-haves? Sure! But he is way more than that. Our Superheroes were created in our own image while he is the power behind our ability to create. He is that clever. Yet his saving work was accomplished mainly by normal abilities like teaching, hiking, story-telling, rebuking, carrying wooden planks. His use of supernatural ability was not to force people but mainly to restore broken things and broken hopes. Yeah, that is so like him! His early followers sought a Superman figure themselves but he surprised them of a much different story to seek. Before they knew it, they have always been in it. If there’s any person (or hero) that I want to be like, it would be him! What makes Jesus even more amazing? He shares the crown he earned with his fellow humans and calls them his own brothers. Basically, he is Kuya Jesus. He likes that. (Hebrews 2:11-12)

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