Have you ever heard someone say Jesus is a hero? Sure—we know he is, right? But have you ever heard someone say the exact words, “Jesus is a hero”? I haven’t. But I got to thinking one day Jesus is a hero. For certain. Even though this is obvious and implied, this was still a paradigm shift for me to call Jesus a hero even if only in my own head. Then I started going through all the ways Jesus was a hero, is a hero, and will always be a hero and so much more. Below is what I came up with:
1. Sacrificed his life for the entire world. Heroes again and again sacrifice their lives for a person, group, community, nation. Jesus sacrificed his life to save a whole world and all generations to come. Not only does Jesus save us for the afterlife, he saves us here and now by showing us the way to live in peace in a world that is full of turmoil and struggles. He gives us hope, healing, love, a future and so much more.
2. Used His powers to heal humanity and more. Most heroes have some sort of power or special ability they use to help humanity. Jesus had the ultimate power—the power of God—and he used it to help humanity during his physical life on earth and into eternity. Not only did Jesus use his power to turn water into wine and heal the sick, Jesus used his power to cast out demons and raise people from the dead. With the power of God, there is no limitation to what Jesus can do. And this power he gave to all through the Holy Spirit. The word ‘hero’ doesn’t even describe the fullness of a power like that.
3. Was fearless. Most heroes are fearless. Jesus had a fierceness and fearlessness so grand that he wasn’t scared to challenge authority in the name of truth. He challenged Pharisees and Sadducees (the ultimate bearers of law then) and even called them hypocrites. He silenced them with his answers. He flipped over tables when people were disgracing his Heavenly Father by turning his Father’s temple into a marketplace. And Jesus didn’t waste time in the temple after knocking over those tables either, he immediately started healing people. He was fierce and fearless; and in a way that is beyond heroic.
4. Refused to back down. Heroes refuse to back down from their enemies. But Jesus refused to back down from the most evil and dark enemy of all time—the Devil. Jesus defeated the Devil’s attacks. But not only did Jesus defeat the devil’s attacks, Jesus went on to make demons cower and flee in fear upon command. And it doesn’t end there. Jesus taught his Disciples to do the same and to this day, people—including priests—make demonic spirits run in terror upon command by the declaration “I command thee to leave by the blood of Christ.” Under Christ, we have authority over darkness and have already defeated darkness. We can confidently “tread upon serpents.” Luke 10:19.
5. Driven by mission. Heroes put mission above even their own wants and needs and interests. Jesus did this like no other. Most heroes know the risk of saving others means they could possibly lose their own lives; but Jesus knew for certain saving others would beyond a doubt lead to him losing his own life. This did not stop Jesus. Jesus’ mission—his love for all of us, his desire to end suffering, bring peace, spread truth, show us the way, lead us closer to our Heavenly Father, and give us salvation meant more to him than his own physical life.
6. Driven by Love. When questioned by an expert in law what is the greatest commandment in law Jesus replied:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus proved true his commitment and obedience to these greatest commandments by sacrificing his own life for us.
7. Inspired others by example. People desire to be like heroes and follow their example. However, Jesus left such an impact on us that people base their whole life and identity on Jesus, being like Jesus and being with Jesus. He is the example—the everything for many of us now, and he was for many who came before us, and he will continue to be the example for so many more to come.
So when I think of Jesus, the first thing that comes to my mind is he is the Son of God, who is the full embodiment of God, and my Savior; but now the next thing that comes to my mind is Jesus is a hero--or at least to me he is--and this puts a smile on my face. So....
Savior? Yes. Hero—Definitely. What do you think?