Jesus the perfect Hero
The Old Testimony is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. The Apostle Paul, Hebrews 10:1
Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” discovered that there were a number of central themes and motifs in many of the myths of heroes throughout the world. This raises the question does this phenomenon point to something or someone beyond itself or is it just an accident? Campbell infers that the very purpose of myths is to point beyond themselves to something deeply profound and yet hidden. If this is true what about the phenomenon of myth and the fact that all share the same motif?
In ancient times, there were gods, heroes, demigods and humans. The demigods were divided up into demons and angels. The gods and heroes beckoned men to a higher standard and to living a virtuous and courageous life. The negative demigods or demons tried to hold humanity down to the earth and to live on a mere animal level. The good demigods were the angels or messengers that were mediators for the gods. The heroes mission was to overcome and save his people from the dragon or the serpent which symbolically represented the chief evil in the world. Often we see the hero save his people by leading them to a promise land where they would be prosperous and safe from the forces of evil. To accomplish this the hero would have to suffer many things and sometimes even sacrifice himself. However, there was never an end to the story of the hero for there was always rebirth and resurrection.
We live in a world without real heroes. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman make great heroes for children but they lack the authenticity to inspire adults unto living a virtuous life. However, human beings need actual heroes that can save us from the dragons in our lives and inspire us to move up to higher ground and to live courageously in the face of the dragon (death) which is devouring us. For an adult, an actual hero must be grounded in reality, i.e. there must be a factual element in their story. The hero must be truly virtuous, courageous himself and experience the sufferings and victories of a life well lived. They must have the power to do what they promised, and their powers must come from the gods. If they have no super powers they cannot be heroes. They would simply be mere men. At the very least, they must have a special relationship with the gods that set them apart from other men. They are the chosen ones.
How do we explain the similarities of all of the myths, and the central themes of their story. I believe that in the myths, we see how God communicates to men through stories. Myths are one of the languages of God. The myths basically are shadows of good things to come or in some cases the bad that is to come. In other words, they are living metaphors of the truth. They are like the truth, but in themselves are not the truth, but rather they are vessels that bring to those who have eyes that see, the truth. The New Testament writers looked upon the Old Testament as a shadow of good things that were to come but not the reality (Heb 10:1). The Old Testament stories were shadows pointing to the mighty hero who was to come. The whole theme of the Old Testament is that someone is coming and as we move into the gospels it changes to someone has come, and when we get to last book of the New Testament, it changes once more to someone is coming again. The theme of the entire Bible is, someone is coming and that someone is going to be the mighty hero who will embody all heroes of history.
What am I saying? In Jesus the myth becomes real as the apostle John says, “The Word became flesh and dwelled (literally, tented) among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only begotten from the father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1). The apostle Paul also said, God was in Christ “reconciling the world to himself.” In Christ, the veil of the myth is lifted and we see face to face the divine glory. In Jesus, all the hero myths of history are fulfilled and clarified. On the cross, he said “it is finished”. God was unveiled in his final and complete form. The revelation of God was complete. God’s self-communication became a living being.
Moreover, in Jesus we see the perfect hero, which must be expected if the above is true. Jesus covers all the bases and fulfills the needs of all men. He is The Prophet, the Righteous King and The Faithful Priest. Even more important, he is the Eternal one that never dies. Did you ever notice that in most hero myths the hero never dies, or he dies and comes back to life. In his resurrection, Jesus’ hero-ship is made perfect, and he becomes the standard of all truth and the judge of all the earth “I am the way, the truth and the life”, “the Father has committed all things to the Son” and “All power in heaven and earth has been given to me.”
In the resurrection of the Jesus-hero we see his mission fulfilled; in going home leaving his people with the promise that he was coming back for them, to lead them out of the hostile country of darkness and into a place of glorious light. His resurrection guarantees that he has the power to do what he promised. No matter what you are experiencing on your journey Jesus has the power to save you and to help you complete your journey in hope and joy.
In summary, it might be said that there may be a 1000 heroes but they all have the same face and that is the face of Jesus. The face of the mighty hero who would stand at the end of time. This may not be a popular message in a pluralistic world where everything is supposed to be equal. However, personally I believe that that pluralistic world dogma where everything is equal is the biggest lie of all time. Not all heroes are equal. There is a hierarchy of heroes and Jesus is on the top. This does not take away from the other heroes, it simply means that they are to be viewed through the final revelation that comes through Jesus Christ.
 Myths are like parables they can reveal the truth for those seeking it or veil the truth to those that are not seeking it (Luke 8:9-10).
 The Greek word for the word “Word” in John 1:1 is a logos which the Greeks believed was the cosmic order or the wisdom and power that ordered the universe. That power had been revealed in myths for thousands of years before the coming of Christ and John says that Christ was the embodiment of it.