When I was about thirteen I discovered Marvel Comics. Wow, was I hooked. I had a paper route which meant I had the money to race down to the Newsagents, purchase Thor, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Avengers, X-men and Spider Man. I would fly home, find a private spot and read the comics cover to cover. Lost in the stories I was transfixed and inspired to take on the villains. It was an oasis from the real world. This went on for a couple of years until I replaced my comics with novels like Lord of the Flies, Dickens, Mutiny on the Bounty, and other school classics. In University I devoured science fiction, historical novels and current affairs books. Then came the Bible, a book that forever changed my life, the one book I have never put down or outgrown.
Marvel Comics are back in fashion now, only on the big screen. You can imagine my delight when I was able to see Spider Man bursting in live action 3D. Thatís why I love these comic book movies. They were a part of my early teen life, a reminder of the wonder of youth! And I have discovered a number of similarities between the Bible and comic books.
1. Black and White - In comic books there is a clear good and bad, black and white, right and wrong. You never have to guess whoís the bad guy. And in the Bible, there is God and there is the devil, good and bad, right and wrong. The devil comes to destroy and Jesus comes to give us life.
2. Heroes and Villains - In comic books, there is a clear distinction between the hero and the villain. In the Bible, God is always the hero, he never fails and he never loses. But like comic books, it often looks like the villain is going to win, but than the hero rises to victory in the last minute. At the Cross Jesus looked like he had failed but then came the Resurrection.
3. Cosmic Questions - Comic books are forever dealing with the big questions: where life began, why we are here, and what is the purpose of life? And itís clear that the Bible deals with all of those questions, only it gives us the ultimate answers and shows us our ultimate purpose.
4. Weak and Strong - Itís amazing how every comic book hero has a weakness he or she has to deal with in order to overcome the villain, and the villains always seem to know what that weakness is. The Bible says the same thing. Paul tells us that even Jesus died in weakness but was raised in power. The Bible points out our weakness as well, and unless we deal with them, we cannot see the victory.
We have a lot to learn from comic books, but thatís because they have borrowed most of their themes from the Bible. The greatest theme of all is redemption. In the latest Spider Man movie, what were some of the villains last words? ďForgive me, Peter.Ē Forgiveness is also a recurring theme in the Avengers, Thor, the Fanatic Four and X-men. This is why the Bible has replaced comic books for me, because God not only shows us what we need to do to be victorious, but he also enables us to succeed.
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