Spider-Man and The Gospel

Probably one of the two most popular comic book characters of the last decade (Batman being the other), Spider-Man ushered in a new renaissance for comic book movies.  Prior to the first Spider-Man movie, the only two successful comic book movie franchises were the Batman and Superman movies from years earlier; both ending on very bad terms (as did Sam Rami’s Spier-Man franchise).  Spider-Man’s popularity boomed with his new movie and he quickly became one of the top selling comic book titles of the decade.  Spider-Man’s story echos our story very similarly.

Spider-Man’s story begins with him in high school, and through a series of unpredictable events… has super powers bestowed onto him by a radioactive spider.  He decided to use his new found powers to advance himself and begins to professionally wrestle, earning large sums of cash.  Through this, he has to hide his second life and lie about his activities to his uncle and aunt (who care for him after Peter’s death as a young child).  This process ends up getting his uncle into a unlucky situation where he is shot and killed.  The news of his uncles death is of course heartbreaking to Peter who takes it upon himself to avenge his uncles death and become the friendly neighborhood crime-fighter.

You can probably see where I’m going with this.

Our story starts in a time very similar to high school, it was a time where, looking back, everything was so simple but we seemed to mess it up.  God gave Adam and Eve one command, do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  But what do they do?  They break their one commandment!  Afterwards they never seek forgiveness from God and continue to live unrepentant.  God then gives Israel the law to show them how imperfect they are and to show them their need for a savior.  But instead, they try to use the law as a way to make up for their sins and to earn their way into Heaven.  But as we all know, that does not end well.

Much the same way that Spider-Man’s journey never ends well.  Throughout the course of his history, Spider-Man has virtually lost everyone he has cared for and although he prevails in the end… he almost always suffers a great loss.  Spider-Man is Israel in this analogy, he tries to use what God has given him and atone for his problems.  Yet, he can never quite do enough to save himself and the people he loves.  One can only hope that there is a Comic Book Jesus to save Peter Parker from his problem of not being able to atone for his sins.

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