When Jesus was crucified, it was supposed to be a shameful death. To the Jews, cursed was anyone who was hung on a pole (Deuteronomy 21:23). To the Romans and Greeks, being crucified was a shameful end for murderers and slaves. No one could possibly think there was anything good about being hung on a cross. However, within 300 years of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the cross had become a symbol of hope and salvation.

Considering the graphic and insulting nature of the cross to Jews and Gentiles, Paul’s statement to the Corinthians makes sense.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

Today, when people see a cross they probably don’t think about it the same as the Jews and Gentiles did when Jesus was crucified. However, the message of the cross is no less absurd to those who are perishing than it was 2000 years ago. And to us who are saved, we yet recognize the power of God within.

When you think about heroes what do you think of? Nowadays, I’d say we think of superheroes more than say, 65 or 70 years ago. In the days of World War II, the American G.I. was considered to be a hero saving the day from the evils of the world. A lot has changed since then. We’ve done such a great job at war that most of us are tired of sending off young people to die on foreign soil for causes we have no stake in. It’s not that we’re tired of violence and war. Take a look at our entertainment, and you’ll see that we’ve embraced violence in ways we’ve never done before.

So, when we think about a hero, that hero is probably super. The most popular superhero in the world is Spider-Man. He was my favorite when I was a kid, and I’m actually surprised that he ranks number one in the world today. I always liked Spider-Man because, somehow, I could relate to him. For the most part, he was an ordinary guy. Unlike Batman, who came from the super-rich, Peter Parker was an average middle-class guy. He was going to school, had a girlfriend, and was trying to juggle all of this while working. I always liked Batman too, because he never had any superpowers (although being rich is like a superpower). As for Superman, and so many others, they were just okay. Spider-Man was my guy.

I suppose my choice of favorite superhero came from the notion that, in my imagination, Spider-Man and Batman were attainable. I laugh about it now because the notion of being bitten by a radioactive spider and being imbued with superpowers is absurd. Yet, I still like Spider-Man. As for Batman, well, one day I might have those kinds of riches, but I’ll never be in that good of shape.

My favorite hero though is Jesus. Crucified, beaten, bruised, insulted, scorned, and left to die. If it had been anyone else but Jesus, I’d not feel the same. See, Jesus wasn’t a victim. What happened to Him happened because He allowed for it to happen.

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:17-18 (NIV)

That’s just crazy, isn’t it? He chose to die on the cross in what some thought of as humiliation and shame. However, what do we call it? He was glorified! That word doesn’t seem to fit the occasion, what does it mean? Merriam-Webster has this to say:

1 a: to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration
b: to elevate to celestial glory

Jesus Himself, prayed to God, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you” (John 17:1 NIV). Jesus wanted to be glorified so He could become fully divine. After He had been resurrected, He said something He had never said before, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18 NIV).

Jesus’ death and resurrection gave Him power over death and sin so you and I could be forgiven and made righteous in the sight of God through the shed blood of His son. This means “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13 NIV). If that wasn’t enough, we have Jesus as an intercessor to God for us daily. Furthermore, we have the same power as Jesus because He died and rose again. The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the dead lives in every Believer (Romans 8:11).

No radioactive spiders, yellow sun, rich parents, or good fortune are required for each of us to possess the power of, not just a superhero, but the Superhero. And all of this comes through faith. Faith in someone who was beaten, bruised, insulted, scorned, and crucified.

Christians don’t need any fictional character to swoop in and save the day. All of our days are already saved. Indeed, when these bodies die, we will be with the Father. We will see His face. Forevermore. Some might say that’s foolishness, but I say it’s the wisest and most profound thing I’ve ever heard. And it’s true!

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.