The Gospel According To Spider-Man
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Spider-man: No Way Home, spoilers lie ahead.
I love the redemption in the new Spider-Man. Real life redemption and in the story itself. I can imagine being an actor or on a film-making team who put in so much hard work only to see your films remade and forgotten about. That’s exactly what happened to Toby McGuire when the franchise was rebooted with Andrew Garfield taking the lead role. Then it happened to Andrew Garfield when Spider-man was rebooted again with Tom Holland at the helm. Although they are millionaires, I hate to see that kind of hard work over shadowed and rendered second class. However with No Way Home, they were all creatively weaved back into the canon. I found myself cheering for the actors themselves as much as I did their characters. Now their franchises are relevant again and it’s work that they can be proud of and it means something in the overall Marvel story.
This reminds me of the gospel. God created our lives to have meaning. Yet sin and brokenness has attempted to thwart that purpose. Through Jesus we are given our purpose again and weaved back into His story. No matter where you may have gotten off track, your life has meaning and purpose. You are created in the image of God and made to reflect His goodness and glory in the world. Through faith in Jesus, we’re redeemed and our meaning is restored. That’s great news!
Which brings me to my second observation in Spider-man. All of the villains from these other Spider-man movies are suddenly brought into the same universe. As Tom Holland’s Spider-Man tries to figure out how to send them back, he suddenly realizes that they had all died in defeat in their alternate universes because of their evil. Rather than send them back right away, which seems like the right thing to do at one point, the three Spider-men fight to restore them to who these villains were before evil overcame them and destroyed their lives. In doing so the Spider-men have to resist their own temptations for revenge and try to see who they were meant to be.
This is exactly how God sees us! God “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Again, we are ALL created in the image of God. God’s desire is not to destroy even the most evil of villains. He sees His image in us and so He sent His Son Jesus to restore that image through His death to sin and resurrection to new life. And Jesus freely gives that to all who trust Him as Lord and Savior. Just like this movie that is filled with storylines of sacrifice and second chances. Jesus sacrificed His own life to give us a second chance. And then He defeated death to give us new life. Through the giving of the Holy Spirit to all who trust Jesus, He does just that!
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how far down that dark path you’ve driven, you are created in the image of your Creator and He wants to redeem that image in you. He has the power to do so, and He will as you place your faith in Jesus Christ, our hero and redeemer. Then, as we are weaved back into God’s story, He empowers us with the good news of the gospel to go redeem others as well. That’s great news!
Your story isn’t over!