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How Superman Potrays Jesus In Movie by adewaleh(m): 8:03pm On Jul 09, 2014
Superman in the new movie. “It’s not an ‘S’,”
responds the Man of Steel. “On my world, it
means ‘hope’.”
A symbol of hope for humanity: That’s how Man
of Steel portrays the legendary hero.
There’s plenty of action and drama: General Zod,
a villain from Krypton, warns Superman,
“Surrender within 24 hours, or watch this world
suffer the consequences” and appeals to
earthlings to turn him in. The explosive action
and special effects were so fast-paced in places
that I found myself wishing it would slow down
so I could take a breath.
There’s also light romance: Journalist Lois Lane
(Amy Adams) and Superman/Clark Kent (Henry
Cavill) kindle some sparks as she seeks to unlock
his past.
Higher Purpose
But beyond the escapism, at its core the classic
Superman story is about good vs. evil. This
movie highlights sense of purpose: Young Clark’s
adoptive earth father Jonathan (Kevin Costner)
encourages his quest for identity: “You were sent
here for a reason.”
There’s nobility and inspiration: Jor-El (Russell
Crowe), predicts of his biological son Kal-El
(Superman), whom he sends to earth from
Krypton, “You will give the people of Earth an
ideal to strive towards. They’ll race behind you.
They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they
will join you…. In time, you will help them
accomplish wonders.”
There’s no Jimmy Olsen, no Kryptonite, but there
is Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White
(Laurence Fishburne). And there’s a motif that
might surprise you.
Misinterpreting the Story?
When I first heard talk of biblical parallels in the
Superman story, I thought that overzealous
Christians were reading their biases into the
popular tales. Then I looked deeper; they were
right. Superman Returns (2006) clearly
displayed biblical themes. Man of Steel is full of
them.
CNN asked composer Hans Zimmer if there were
any similarities between his two recent projects –
Man of Steel and History Channel miniseries The
Bible – “since both involve a savior figure (Jesus,
Kal-el) sent by his father to Earth.”
“Yes,” Zimmer laughed. “Once you see Superman,
you’ll see how close you are…. Both stories are
passions…about a struggle to do the right thing.”
Multiple Parallels
Jor-El views Superman as Earth’s savior: “You
can save her [Lois]…you can save all of them.”
Public-rejection concerns accompany both figures.
Kal-El’s biological mother worries, “He’ll be an
outcast. They’ll kill him.“ “How?” replies Jor-El.
“He’ll be a god to them.”
The adult Clark recalls, “My [adoptive] father
believed that if the world found out who I really
was, they’d reject me. He was convinced that the
world wasn’t ready.”
Jesus, of course, got a mixed reception. His close
friend recalled , “He came to his own people, and
even they rejected him. But to all who believed
him and accepted him, he gave the right to
become children of God. They are reborn—not
with a physical birth resulting from human
passion or plan, but a birth that comes from
God.”
Life Insights
As for Superman’s public reception…well, I don’t
want to spoil this movie for you. One could make
a game of seeing how many biblical parallels you
can find. (I’ve only mentioned a few here.) And
you might want to consider some life insights
from what you’ll find there, too.
Man of Steel is a fun film, simple in plot but
deep in theme as it taps profound human desires
for self-identity, purpose and hope. “Hope” is
especially timely in our world filled with nuclear
rogues, homeland terrorists, devastating disease,
and financial uncertainty.
But in real life, absent some trustworthy basis for
lasting hope, are we all just whistling in the dark?
Paul, a first-Century General Zod (of sorts) who
became Jesus’ follower, wrote : “I pray that God,
the source of hope, will fill you completely with
joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you
will overflow with confident hope….”
Got hope?
* * *
Film is “rated PG-13 [USA] for intense sequences
of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for
some language.”
www.manofsteel.com Opens June 14 in USA ,
Canada and UK . Worldwide Release Dates
throughout June.
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who
has spoken on six continents. He holds
Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master
of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford
universities, respectively.
www.rustywright.com

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