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I still haven’t seen Iron Man 2.  It is currently showing at the “cheap movie” theater not far from our house, but at this point I will probably just hold out until the film is released on dvd next month.  Since it has been nearly four months since the premier of Iron Man 2, the subject of this post is likely “old news” to many people, and it may have been exhaustively batted around the blogosphere back in May.  If so, I apologize for the redundancy.  It is not unusual for me to be running a few months/years behind the cultural curve.

In Iron Man 2, the character Ivan “Whiplash” Vanko played by Mickey Rourke says, “If you could make God bleed, people will cease to believe in him.”  I can only conjecture since I haven’t seen the movie, but I assume that the point of Vanko’s statement was that if he could expose some sort of weakness or vulnerability in Tony Stark/Iron Man, then the adulation from the masses would radically diminish.  If he could “make him bleed” and show his humanity, then the people’s confidence in him as a superhero would evaporate.  

If I totally missed Vanko’s point, you can let me know, or I’ll figure it out if and when I see the movie.  But, the statement is just so stark (no pun intended) that it is hard to miss the theological, Christological, and soteriological connections; translation: the God stuff, the Jesus stuff, and the salvation stuff.

“If you could make God bleed…”

“God is spirit…” (John 4:24)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1, 14)

“Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”  (Philippians 2:6-7)

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same… He had to be made like His brethren in all things…” (Hebrews 2:14, 17)

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock, and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” (Matthew 20:18-19)

“They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.  After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.”  (Matthew 27:30-31)

“But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (John 19:33-34)

“…people will cease to believe in him”

Indeed, The Enemy and the human enemies of Jesus succeeded in making God bleed.  But, to the end and result of disbelief?  Far from it!

“Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)

“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands, and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’  Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God.'” (John 20:27-28)

 “But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  (I Corinthians 1:23-24)

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (I Peter 1:18-19)

God bled!  We believe! 

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August 2010