Sharing God's Story with Man of Steel

In our home midnight movies are a rite of passage.

Since today is my youngest son’s 13th birthday, and since Man of Steel opened today, last night was his first midnight movie!

My Little Superman
My Little Superman

Happy birthday son!

I really enjoyed the Father and Son dynamic – both with Jor-El and Kal-El and with Jonathan Kent and Clark Kent – and enjoyed sharing Superman with my son, Jesse.

But, since this is Reel Parables, we can’t ignore the “Jesus is Superman” conversation.

So, with that said, queue the Superman is Jesus sermon illustrations in 3, 2, 1… (I joke, sort of.)

I tend to like movies that don’t *try* to be Reel Parables. My problem with Superman movies is that they tend to be obvious. This isn’t bad, but I am more interested in movies that are not obvious Reel Parables.

Regardless, Man of Steel does have some great Reel Parable moments.

Sharing God's Story with Man of Steel
Sharing God’s Story with Man of Steel

 

Yes, Zack Snyder plays up the religious (and I would argue Christian) imagery and even the savior heritage of Superman canon.

Here are a few I noticed:

  • The Father sending his Son (not original to this movie).

Kal-EL/Clark/Superman is not of this world.

His Father sent him here to help us, protect us, and to give us hope.

Even in this movie the Jor-El tells his son that he is “both” human and alien. He is not only Kryptonion (is that a word?) but he is also human (because Johnathan and Martha Kent raised him).

He is not just a “god” but he is also a man.

Sound familiar?

  • Jor-El and Kal-El

The use of El is significant. El is an old word that means God, Deity, etc. The use of El is used a LOT in the Old Testament.

Elohim – God the Creator, God the mighty, God is strong.

El Shaddai – God Almighty.

El Elyon – God the Most High.

El Roi – God sees.

El  Olan – The everlasting God.

El – Gibhor – Might God.

Superman is certainly strong and mighty. Couple this with Jor-El’s statement that Kal-El can save Lois, and indeed save them all. (And you gotta love the “Jesus” pose as he floats off in space to save her…)

Kal-El - Superman the Mighty and Strong
Kal-El – Superman the Mighty and Strong
  • The use of “light” (like the Biblical writer John).

I’m not sure if this one is a stretch or not but I feel like there is something there. The use of “light” like John used in his gospel and epistles seems to be mimicked here.

Maybe this can be fleshed out a bit later…

  • The King visuals. Not as obvious as some of the other items but still there.

The royal blue and royal red.

The royal red cape.

And did you notice Clark’s t-shirt when he was in his dream state with Zod? He was wearing a Royals t-shirt.

A possible shout out to the “King of Kings?”

Superman. King of Kings?
Superman. King of Kings?
  • Clark’s age – 33, like Jesus when he was crucified (per tradition).

  • The Church scene – Clark’s “garden of Gethsemane.”

This is the most obvious and blatant use of the biblical narrative (Reel Parable).

The stained glass in this scene shows Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane while Clark admits that he is the one Zod is looking for.

He also admits that he does not know if he trusts humans or if he should turn himself in, etc.

As with Jesus praying for this “cup to pass” this is Clark’s same struggle.

Will he, like Jesus, offer himself as a sacrifice?

Personally this is the most powerful Reel Parable in this movie.

Clark’s age and the church scene are the most blatant use of the Jesus story in my opinion. And, to my knowledge, this is the first movie to use those two items.

Did Snyder try to write a “Jesus story?” I don’t think so. But he has been “honest” with the Superman story which has many, many, many similarities to the biblical Jesus story.

Did you catch anything else?

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