When people say, “Peter, you’re not special; you’re not super,”
I can say, “Wrong! Out of one billion, I’m the sperm that made it!”
That’s what I learned at South Elementary School sometime in the late sixties.
But I also learned there were five billion others in the world and to be super you still had to make someone else seem not so super; you had to compete.
My friends Duncan and Matt used to play Batman and Robin at recess.
The other boys like to beat them up. I think it made them feel super.
“I preach to you the superman,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. “What is good? All that heightens in man the feeling of power, the desire for power, power itself.”
What is it that makes Superman super?
In Romans 5:14, Paul mentions that “Adam… is a type of the One being about to be.”
The One “being about to be” is the eschatos Adam, the Super Man, Jesus.
Adam is a collective singular noun in Hebrew, most often translated as “man.”
In view of the Old Testament, all people are really one man: Adam.
And in the mind of Paul, the story of Adam in Genesis one through three isn’t simply about two naked people in a garden long ago, it’s a story about you and me (Adam) and Jesus (the Eschatos Adam).
If Adam is a type of Christ, then we are a type of Christ.
In Greek, that’s “tupos.” And in the sermon, I made a tupos for all of you.
If I take our Superman figurine and press him into a slab of clay and then remove him from the clay, the imprint that’s left behind is called a “tupos.” The implications are amazing.
It means that Jesus, who will fill all things, is the beginning and the end of you.
It means that we are being created and observing our own creation.
It means that you, me, and us, are the presence of the absence of the “one being about to be.”
It means that every bit of longing in you corresponds to a fulfillment that is Him.
It means that the reason for wrong is the revelation of the right in you—Superman in you.
It means that who-it-is that you think you are, is who-it-is that you are not: a temporal illusion, a false self, an “old Adam.”
Before “the fall,” God said, “It is not good that the Adam is alone.”
Adam was not entirely good, and sin was already in Adam when God placed the tree in the middle of the garden—“the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil.”
Babies don’t have the knowledge of Good and evil and, although they’re quite self-centered, we don’t blame them for stuff until they do have that knowledge
“The law came in (literally ‘snuck in’) to increase the trespass,” writes Paul.
So, why did God put that tree of knowledge in the middle of the garden, knowing full well that the lie would sneak in like a snake and bite us as the snake?
Why did he give the Law to Moses on Mt. Saini . . . and to you in first grade?
“To increase the trespass,” writes Paul. “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
Perhaps he wants you—a new you—to “abound all the more.”
The “tupos” is the knowledge of Superman without the presence of Superman.
With our own bad judgment, that’s sin, we each form the old Adam, the “tupos.”
With his Good judgment, that’s Grace, God creates the New Man, Superman in us.
It means that God will be glorified in you, the particular quirky empty vessel that is you.
It means that all things work together for good… even the place where sin increased.
It means that there will be no regrets.
It means that you are a vessel of wrath, predestined to be a vessel of Mercy—double predestined.
It means that Salvation is the death of death, which is the presence of the Life; Salvation is the revelation that you are the creation of Relentless Love: Grace.
Perhaps you are the “tupos” of his hand, and I’m the “tupos” of his foot?
If I thought that I had to make myself into the Superman, I would compete with you.
If I thought that the Superman was making us into himself, I would thank God for you.
In the 2nd century, Irenaeus—like Paul—taught that Jesus “recapitulates” Adam.
When Adam swallowed the lie, we desecrated ourselves and divided Adam into billions of pieces. That is our Judgment.
When Jesus, the Truth, gave himself for us, he descended into every broken piece of Adam like a seed. He is the Judgment of God in us. He is Faith in us. He is the Promised Seed.
The Judgment is not imposed from the outside, but He rises from the inside, that we would choose to be the image of God in freedom.
It means every child of Adam is predestined for freedom.
It means no man or woman is your enemy, but each and all are the gift that is yourself.
It means that if you need someone to lose, you don’t yet know what it means to win; you haven’t yet met the Super Man.
Life is not the survival of the fittest, but the sacrifice of the fittest.
What makes the Superman super is that although he was first, he chose to be last (“Eschatos” means super, ultimate, or last and least). Although he was Superman, he chose to be every man.
Romans 5:18-19 “As one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
It means that we, the Church, need to repent.
You can’t make yourself Superman, but Superman is making all people himself.
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