A new Supermanmovie is coming out this year. Over 80 years ago, two teenagers came up with this idea of a man from another planet who can fly, has x-ray vision and super strength, is virtually indestructible, and is so virtuous, he wants only to help people in trouble. It took them six years to find a publisher. When they finally found one who was willing to publish their story, they had to sign over the rights to the character for $130. In 1938, that probably sounded like a lot of money, but the Superman character has made DC Comics millions of dollars since then. It’s amazing to think that, in a cynical age like ours, one of our most enduring and beloved heroes is a guy who wears blue underwear and a red cape. But it tells us something about ourselves: We long for someone to show up and fix things; stop the bad guys, rescue the people who are in danger. People often wonder why God doesn’t function like that. We watch the news and see school shootings, natural disasters and evil dictators running rampant, and we wonder, “When is God going to show up and do something about this?”
A long time ago, there was a man who lived in the desert. He spoke so powerfully, people would come from miles around to hear him. When they listened, really listened, a change started to take place in their hearts. They started wanting a new kind of life. To symbolize this desire for a new life, they would get into the river that ran through the desert and this man would baptize them. They came from all sectors of society. These people didn’t believe in Superman, but they believed God would send them someone, someday who would make things right. They started to think maybe this strange guy in the desert, who wore camel’s hair and ate bugs, might be the one they’d been looking for. But when they finally came out and asked him, this man, whose name was John, said, “I’m not the answer. But He’ll be here soon. I’m getting things ready for Him.” Then the very next day, he said, “There He is…"
More precisely, he said:
Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
Why would John use such unusual language to describe Jesus? That's hardly the only time the Lord was referred to in those terms. But what does it mean for us today? That's what we'll be talking about this Sunday at Westbury Baptist Church.