Most of us grew up having heroes; many of us still have them even as adults. Jesus Christ is often named as the hero of politicians and religious leaders, but have you ever given thought to what that really means? What qualifies someone to be a hero?
Image courtesy of Ben Smith
I think if we look at the classic definition of a hero we will see that Jesus is indeed the ultimate hero, and the only one worthy of our praise and adulation.
Heroes are the good guys
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie or read a book where the hero is the “bad guy”. Jesus is the preeminent “good guy”. He didn’t succumb to the temptation to indulge in all the luxuries life had to offer (Matthew 4:8-10). He refused to take the easy way out for Himself, and instead chose to face whatever may come for the good of the world (Matthew 26:39). Instead of falling for the tricks of the enemy, He saw through them (Matthew 4:5-7). Jesus never sinned, not even once. He led a perfect life and continues helping those who love Him to this very day.
Heroes put the needs of others first
Have you ever noticed how the heroes in movies have the ability to ignore their own wounds and needs and instead keep pushing on for the sake of those who are depending on them? Jesus did this every day of His life on earth. He was constantly healing the sick, giving sight to the blind and casting out demons from those who had become possessed. When a group of children came clamoring around Him, He didn’t send them away, but rather took the time to bless each one (Matthew 19:13-15). Jesus had a mission but He carried it out with an agenda that was devoted to others.
Heroes lay down their lives
Perhaps the ultimate test of how worthy a hero may be is if they are willing to lose their own life in exchange for ours. Jesus courageously did this for us, even though He had the power to avoid it. He didn’t only die for us; He persevered while being brutally tortured. Through it all He could have put an end to His suffering at any time, but for our sake He endured pain the likes of which most of us will never be able to comprehend. When the moment of truth came, Jesus did not shy away from His own death. He gave His life so that we might live. If not for Jesus we would all be doomed to an eternity of hopelessness and despair. Because of His sacrifice on our behalf, we can live forever in the paradise of His kingdom.
Is Jesus your hero? Does He not meet all the qualifications to be so? Let’s be certain that the people we uphold as our heroes meet the criteria. It’s easy to idolize the successful or glamorous, but the fact of the matter is these people rarely merit hero status. Jesus is worthy of your worship; He is worthy of your adoration. Hold Him higher than any other person in your life and strive to live as He did. Don’t settle for cheap substitutes; give your life completely to the only one worthy of your hero worship.
Question: Is Jesus your hero? Why or why not? You can share your comments below.