A decade after Marvel began its empire, superhero movies are still leveling the box office like Superman leveled Metropolis. Most recently, the excellent Black Panther roared into theaters breaking records with style.
One of my favorite superhero movies is Batman's The Dark Knight. It is almost universally praised, even winning Heath Ledger an Oscar in 2009 for his portrayal of the Joker. As great as Ledger was in that role there is one central villain that is often overlooked.
Batman believes in one person: Batman. But there was a moment in The Dark Knight where his beliefs began to shift to a new hero named Harvey Dent. If elected to District Attorney, Dent was the man that was going to clean up the streets of Gotham. He didn't wear a mask. He took down Gotham's villainy inside the bounds of the law. Bruce realized that he was the hero Batman could never be and the one Gotham needed. He gladly saw his time as the dark knight coming to an end. So, Bruce threw his support, money, and influence behind the campaign of Harvey Dent saying the words, "I believe in Harvey Dent."
Turned out that Harvey Dent was not the light to Bruce's darkness. Through a series of horrific events, Dent became a tragic villain that Batman must destroy.
When Bruce made the statement, "I believe in Harvey Dent," what was he saying? He wasn't saying that he believes that Harvey Dent existed, although he does. He wasn't saying that he believed the stories about Harvey Dent were true, although they were. He is saying, "I believe in the person, work, and vision of Harvey Dent, and I trust my city to him."
In the end, it turned out that Harvey Dent was a bad savior. When Bruce found this out, he didn't move to some neutral state of unbelief. When he removed his trust from Harvey he had to move his trust to someone else... the person he always trusted in: Batman.
All of us believe in something. No one lives in a neutral state of unbelief. You either have belief in Jesus or you have some other belief. So what are you believing in, and is it worth living your life for?
Tomorrow we will look at John 4:46-54 and see at a rich desperate man who moves his trust from himself to a poor Rabbi from Nazareth. To most, it looked foolish, but to the man, this was like the realization of a dream he'd always longed for.