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Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Verse 8: “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?”

Way back when DC Comics had published the storyline “The Death of Superman”, in which Superman seemingly perished defending Metropolis from the alien monster known as Doomsday, the eventual return of Superman to life was depicted in the storyline “Reign of the Supermen”. As an epilogue to that story, Superman and Lois Lane were shown by the supernatural detective, Dr. Occult, just how Superman “came back from the dead”. Long story short, it was a series of factors and events that only occurred in a once-in-a-lifetime configuration; Superman was as close to death as he could be (for a Kryptonian). This fact was lost on a gathering of people who began to worship Superman, as he had “come back from the dead” in their eyes. Kal-El was horrified to see that these people flocked to him like he was a god, and he had to vocally reprimand them that, telling them that he was mortal (although he has “power and abilities far beyond mortal men”, to quote the old Adventures of Superman TV show). He could no more raise people from the dead or cure the sick supernaturally than they could. Thankfully, his words snapped them back to reality.

Paul begins his defense before King Agrippa by harkening back to his defense before the Sanhedrin: that he believes in the resurrection of the dead. He evens parlays it into the rhetorical question he puts before Agrippa: “Why should it be though incredible by you that God raises the dead?” If God is truly all-powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent, then why wouldn’t He be able to raise the dead? Paul is laying the foundational basis for his later arguments regarding Jesus.

I am reminded of the times when we have to be reminded of God’s power. Take Matthew 8: 23-27 and Matthew 14: 22-33. Both times, when out on the water, Jesus performs miracles over the power of the storm and of the sea in the face of his disciples’ fears. He then reminds them, “why did you doubt, o ye of little faith”. The disciples’ replies that marvel at His power are perfectly summed up in Matthew 14:33: “Truly You are the Son of God”.

Why should we think it incredible that God can’t do the impossible? He’s God!

More to come.

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Verses 22-23: “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior – Jesus –”

DC Comics published a wide-ranging storyline before the turn of the 21st century called “DC One Million”. In summary, the descendants of the Justice League, who still fought crime in the 853rd century, had a celebration and traveled back in time to invite the current/original Justice League. Of course, with any story involving superheroes, you got some supervillains messing up the works!

In Action Comics #1,000,000, Superman’s 853rd century celebration showcasing his powers was sabotaged by a sentient sun computer named Solaris. Solaris spread disinformation that the original Superman was really a Bizarro clone. Fleeing pursuit, Superman was captured by a security force of the 17th Thanagarian Fusiliers working for Lexcorp Interplanetary. They were commanded by Mahol Toj. During their conversation, Superman mentioned to Toj his adventures working side-by-side with the legendary Hawkman of his era, Katar Hol. This gave Mahol Toj pause, as he explained to Superman that, even in the 853rd century, the name Katar Hol was revered, honored, and legendary. Superman took this cue to explain how he worked with Katar and admired Katar’s qualities of justice, integrity, and honor. Mahol Toj understood then that a Bizarro couldn’t comprehend these traits, and began to believe that this was the genuine Superman. He and his fellow Fusiliers then strove to aid Superman in his plight to prove he was the Superman-Prime.

When called upon to speak in the Jewish synagogue, Paul began to establish his message by giving a brief history lesson of the Jews as God’s chosen people. He mentioned the respected name of King David, “a man after God’s own heart”. Having “connected” with his audience, Paul used that base as a springboard to proclaim the Good News, that Jesus came to earth, born of the line of David, and was God in human form. He told them how He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and was resurrected and sits at God’s right hand, to come again in the final days. By the way, Paul’s mention of “the promise”? It’s 2 Samuel 7:12-16, where the prophet Nathan relayed God’s promise to raise up a descendant from David’s line…that descendant, in human form, was Jesus!

Jesus “connected” with us sinful humans, by becoming human Himself, but sinning not. Just another reason He is the Savior we can identify with.

Something to think about.

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Verse 52: “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,”

Some years back when DC Comics was re-introducing Plastic Man to their readers (Plas, being a hero from the Golden Age of Comics, was being updated to the modern age), they ran a 4-issue limited series to re-introduce people to the comic crime fighting capers of Plas and his sidekick, Woozy Winks. In issue #3, Plas pursued Woozy to California; Woozy had become brainwashed into joining the religious cult of a modern-day Atlantean prophet named Rama Lama (whenever his name was pronounced, a retainer would ring a bell on a staff and the sound would go, “Ding Dong”…yes, this was for comic effect.) In the midst of trying to save an old beggar-looking man who accused Rama Lama of being a fraud (which he was), Plas and Woozy rescued the man from Rama’s horde of followers. They began to wonder about this old man, who kept claiming over and over that HE was the real Atlantean wizard (whenever they asked him how he knew relevant facts about the case, he’d say, “because, I’m a wizard!”) The three tried to thwart Rama’s scheme; all the while, the beggar kept insisting HE was the real Atlantean wizard. You see, the music and dancing festival Rama was sponsoring was a ploy to get them all to kick-start an earthquake to destroy California. However, the festival was being held along the San Andreas fault, and kick-started a massive earthquake too soon! Plas used his stretching powers to try and keep the fault from opening, but of course lacked the strength. Suddenly the old beggar chanted a corny spell, temporarily endowing Plas with the superhuman strength to close the fault and save the day, which he did. When things calmed down, they asked him how he did that…to which the beggar replied, “because…I…am…a wizard!” They finally believed him, as he explained that he was the last remaining wizard of Atlantis, and that the state of California was the Atlantean continent that he “accidentally” shunted into North America years ago (“that’s why people out here are just a touch peculiar…it’s the residual magic in the land!”) The funniest running gag of this episode was that the “crazy guy” that everyone thought was nuts, turned out to be what he said he was….it’s just that no one would listen to him.

Stephen is turning the history lesson into a pointed accusation against the council; he demonstrated through historical fact that the forefathers of Israel always persecuted the prophets God sent, even the ones who proclaimed the coming Messiah. And then…point blank…he accused them of killing the Just One (Jesus) themselves, making them just like their forefathers, murderers and betrayers! A footnote in my Holman Bible states it thusly: historically, when sinners are confronted with the truth, it makes them mad…or it makes them repentant.

What if you knew that you were about to deliver the last message you’d ever speak…what would you say?

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