When I was a kid I pretended a LOT. I pretended I was a knight riding his great steed when I rode my bike through the neighborhood after I learned of Sir Lancelot. I tried to be logical and raise one eyebrow when I first started watching Star Trek. I tried to pick up my teddy bears from the floor while on my top bunk after I saw Star Wars. I was a brave soldier fighting off the attackers, a spy tracking evil agents, and Edmund Pevensie shattering the White Witch's wand. I wanted to be a hero.
What's funny is in all of those times of pretending to be a hero, I thought of those I was rescuing. The courageous one who never backed down from defending the defenseless from a bully. The defender of the weak and powerless. The fighter for justice. The crowds would love me, and I would humbly take their applause and thanks. That was the hero I would be.
It didn't take long for me to realize that I was just plain, old Doug Duncan with the boring humdrum name, living in a small town where nothing ever happened, and the Enterprise was not going to beam me up, I would not find a new world in any closet in my house, nor was Yoda going to show up and train me. It was disappointing, but it didn't stop me from wishing and pretending.
You see, deep inside of me there is a hope that the good guys ALWAYS win. Those are the stories I love to read and hear. Where men and women rise against the dark and fight with everything they have to see it vanquished. Things may go sour for a time, but in the end there are those who rise up and, against all odds, win.
That is the old, old story that I love to hear and I love to tell. Psalm 49:7-8 says, "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him- the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough." No "man" it says. No earthly man. It takes a hero of eternal origins to win this battle. That redemption can only come through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We were a people in need of rescue, and no earthly hero could save us, only Jesus Christ. The ransom could only be paid by His precious blood. No earthly payment will ever be enough. No heroic act you could ever perform. Jesus alone could take the punishment.
And He did.
I am glad that I have a real hero. I don't pretend to be Him. I know that I could never match up to Him, but I am glad that He can be found not only by me, but by all. And His rescue is eternal, because in believing in Jesus "God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself." (Psalm 49:15) Believe in Him. He can be your hero, too.
A better word for Him would be Savior. And He DOES always win.