I just saw Batman v Superman with my wife and a couple of friends this weekend. Firstly, I would recommend that people who are interested in the movie go see it and judge for themselves what they think of it. My wife and I loved it. Caveat – it is not a movie for the kiddos. Seeing your two favorite heroes duke it out and have intense internal conflict just doesn’t jive well with 5-7 year olds.
The one thing about the movie that has made me sort of uncomfortable (only very light spoilers here) is the in your face treatment of Superman being an almost allegory for Jesus. It wasn’t hidden in Man of Steel, and they pretty much beat you in the face with the symbolism in this movie. However, Jesus exists in this universe as well.
There is a difference, though. Superman can save people from violent situations, but Supes can’t save their souls. Superman can be a symbol of hope, but his saving grace stops right there. There is no restoration of relationship between God and man through Kal-El, because even though he may be symbolic for Jesus, he is not Jesus. So, the salvation that Superman offers is purely external, and he makes some pretty big mistakes in the story.
This shows us the biggest difference between Superman and Jesus, at least in this adaptation. Superman has an identity crisis. He is an alien who wants to be human. He doesn’t want the responsibility of a god. He doesn’t want people to worship him, because he is not God. Seeking wisdom in a church in Man of Steel, this version of Clark Kent seems to have been raised among very Christian ideals. So he would seemingly know the dangers of presenting himself as a false savior.
However, he also knows that he has a purpose. He feels a responsibility to help others with his powers. This is what everyone should do, we should feel a responsibility to help and serve others with what God has given us. In this way, Superman is a great symbol of Christ-like behavior.
There is only one Savior, though, worthy of true worship. That is Jesus. On Easter Sunday, we can recognize that Jesus may not solve our outward situations. However, He will give us peace in the midst of chaos. He will lead us to joy in the dark places. He will change our hearts and our lives. All things work for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.