How a bumblebee and Wonder Woman taught me about Jesus.

I have to admit by 9:20 PM I was pretty tired of seeing characters die. First the children’s book and now this! Yet, today I found several reflections of Jesus staring at me out of the stories I enjoyed.

The bee in the blackberry bush

When I get home from work I tore open a hand written envelope and found a children’s book inside. It was a children’s book from a friend of mine titled “The Bee In the Blackberry bush.” Both girls immediately wanted us to read it to them. This is a wonderfully written and illustrated story about a little bumblebee. This little guy makes friends with a bird and then sacrifices himself to save the birds baby chicks from a cat.

When I finish that book my first thought was, “that is a surprisingly melancholy ending to a children’s book.” Then I thought, maybe I need to tell more stories like this to my daughters. That little bumblebee put himself on the line for his friends. What a powerful example for my girls.  I love the scripture Charles (the author) quotes in his book:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”-John 15:13

Later I learned the same lesson watching Wonder Woman

(SPOILER ALERT-KIND OF..)

Late in the movie the character Steve Trevor decides he needs to sacrifice himself to save millions of people’s lives. So he sacrifices and his loss is what motivates Diana (Wonder Woman) to do what she needs to do.

It’s interesting, throughout the whole movie this phrase is repeated:

It’s not about deserving, it’s about what you believe.

The problem is, wonder woman and other gods are debating whether mankind is worth saving. The setting of the movie in World War II clearly demonstrates the depths to which we can fall. So wonder woman and other characters say it’s not about whether these people deserve being saved it’s about what you believe in.

The bad guy, Ares tries repeatedly to convince Diana that humans aren’t worth saving,

“I just give them the guns and bombs, I don’t make them use them. They do all this themselves.”

In the end Diana realizes that both the best and worst of mankind are available in each person. The choice that must be made is to love.

One of the most powerful moments in the movie is when Diana defeats Ares

In the climatic moment Diana (Wonder Woman) flies up into the air, spreads her arms wide in a cross and blasts the smithereens out of Ares. That was powerful for me in how different she was from Jesus. Diana won in a display of power defeating the enemy. Jesus won by suffering and losing.

Lee Strobel once wrote about suffering in the world. He pointed out that everywhere you go you see vicorious or powerful gods. Buddha sits distant and smug. Mohammed was a warrior and Allah is portrayed as all powerful. Jesus, however, was the God who suffered. Jesus knew what it was to lose. Jesus understands suffering.

Conclusion

I enjoy seeing reflections of Jesus in children’s books and movies. I am blown away by how the real Jesus is so much more. He sacrificed himself and won. He won not by display of power but by losing for love in obedience to the Father.

 

 

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