Strength in a God that Bleeds

ironmanGrowing up in LA, where movies are made, I have become a huge fan of cinema. Of late, Marvel and DC Universes have been big blockbusters on the Big Screen, bringing all of our childhood heroes to life. Unbeknownst to the non-comic fan, many of these characters are created with very deep backgrounds built on tragedy, revenge, philosophy and the like. Many times this doesn’t translate very well into the Theatre; as the audience seeks fun fast paced action for some 120min or so. This of course is dependent on the Director. Despite all of Marvel’s winning ways on the Big Screen, The Dark Knight is still king (in my opinion) in capturing the deep background and philosophies of the villain and hero.

But, Im not here to talk about the Dark Knight. Surprisingly, what I want to write about is a line that struck me in the movie Iron Man 2. This line, while in error, is what I think the world views as correct about God. Yet, simultaneously, it is an amazingly glorious account for the uniqueness of Christ.

When our hero Tony Stark sat down with the imprisoned Ivan Stanko, Stark claimed:

”No, the reason I’m alive is because you took a shot, and you missed.”

Stanko Replied:

If you can make god bleed, people would cease to believe in him, there will be blood in the water, the sharks will come. All I have to do is sit back and watch as the world consumes you.” 

If you are a believer, then you probably know where I am going with this, but first, let me set up the scenario I touched on directly.

Falsifiability

Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, is falsifiable. What does that mean? Well, In a scientific experiment (you remember – those things that you did in middle school science classes that follow the scientific method) if a hypothesis isn’t falsifiable it cannot be tested, for every concluding record would be accounted as for the hypothesis. Essentially, there has to be a way the experiment’s hypothesis (or in this case the Claim for Christianity’s “truth”) to be proved false.

Falsifiability prevents circular reasoning deemed illogical by science. “Faith” cannot be tangibly measured by man, therefore just claiming one’s faith will not do with many people today who base their opinions on such a scientific method.

(On that note, Believer, do not be angry with the skeptic who needs tangibility as evidence for their faith. It is my opinion that the change in your life as a Christian, also known as your testimony, is one of the most powerful and tangible proofs for the reality of the Holy Spirit in the world. Two famous Biblical characters, despite their faith, needed tangible evidence; one of them being a disciple named Thomas [John 20:24-29] and the other was Israel (Jacob) [Genesis 45:25-28])

Christianity is falsifiable because of many reasons but mostly because it it based in History. Prove the history of the Bible wrong and the integrity of its foundation is hurt. Even more so, it is based off falsifiable miracles: Jesus’ death and resurrection. Often claimed as the most well documented death in history, it would have been just as simple as uncovering the body of Jesus to prove that this new belief was a lie; but both have not happened.

Bleeding

whiplash

So back to the quote that Whiplash (Ivan Stanko) reeled off against Tony Stark (Iron Man).

If you can make god bleed, people would cease to believe in him, there will  be blood in the water, the sharks will come. All I have to do is sit back and  watch as the world consumes you.” 

This quote perfectly sums up the ideas of Stanko. Stanko is seeking to get the world to build the same weapon that is the Iron Man, thus making him just ordinary. Stanko does this in revenge of his father and veiled by the idea that it’s Stark’s “war profiteering” that stirs his rage.

For myself, a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ (God) because he bled. This is why that quote struck me. It is contrary to all of Christianity. We believe because He bled, and thus gave us the opportunity for eternal life.

The Victory

I also see these words as being similar to the idea of Satan himself. Satan, the enemy of God, is nothing to compare to God, yet Satan (who was cast from Heaven for attempting to Usurp God in Authority Isaiah 14:12-15) thought He could win in Christ’s death on the cross.* 

Satan’s plan (one of many mind you) is simply this, to use the cross to stir doubt. Like Stanko, the world believes that “If you can make god bleed, people would cease to believe in him.” The world does not understand how Christians claim that this so called Man named Jesus was actually God, shed His blood for our sins, died, then rose again, defeating Death and giving us Eternal Life. That is a WHOLE LOT to take in!

God was man? God bled? God died? My sins need atonement? He resurrected? I can live forever in heaven?

Christians often rip off this creed expecting non-believers to simply say “ooh now I get it.” No, in fact, its more than likely going to create an answer like this: “That makes no sense!” or “How?” or “Where is the proof in ___________?”

Satan wins by twisting that seed of doubt and substituting it with answers the world says are “true!” Doubt in itself is not bad, in fact some of the most strong Christians yesterday and today were doubters of God (see C.S.Lewis). Some of the strongest Christians are still doubters, but now they doubt how anyone can believe the skeptics of Christ. Seeds of Doubt are dangerous when it is watered with the worlds “truth” and not the Truth of the Gospel. These “false truths” the world offers are likened to the “sharks” Stanko suggested when he says “the sharks will come.” And with these sharks “All I have to do is sit back and watch as the world consumes you.” This is what Satan, the enemy, does now. There are so many “false truths/religions” and distractions that the enemy’s job is made easy. He can simply sit back and “watch”  as we destroy ourselves yet he still prowls like a roaring lion [1 Peter 5:8] because he knows his time is short [Revelations 12:12]. Or as a Christian Rapper named Bizzle put it: “…Satan’s just a hater who’s afraid to burn in hell alone!”

Because we once were non-believers, because we once doubted, because we once were enemies of God, it is our duty to help others in similar situations to crush doubt and see the truth. [Matt 28:16]

The Hero

Christianity is unique, different and amazing because God came to us to save us. He didn’t force us to work off sin and pay (or make) our way to heaven. He doesn’t force us, His burden is light. He gave and gives freely! Christ came to earth, humble and lowly, a Man. Then he died for all of our sins.

Contrary to what the world thinks, and contrary to the world of a comic book villain… We find Strength in a God Who Bleeds.

*Note: I am not saying Satan killed Christ. Christ laid down Himself on the Cross, Satan did not triumph in any way on the Cross. The Cross was the plan of God, a plan set far before the Temple sacrifices were even established.

(Photo via Marvel Wiki) 

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