In my previous post on Thor and spirituality, I mentioned that I hadn’t seen Thor: The Dark World yet. Well I saw it last weekend. Awe-some! I’ve been chompin’ at the bit the whole week to write about this. I don’t want to give any spoilers so this’ll be hard. Okay, there might be some spoilers. Sorry.
One of the things that impressed me about Thor: The Dark World is it’s spectacle. It’s beautiful spectacular vistas of Asgard were stunning. It was visually wonderful. The story line was good. It was dark. Hence Dark World. It went deep into the relationship between Loki and Thor as brothers. It looked at how they had their differences. And they band together against a common enemy–the evil dark elf bent on bringing darkness back to the world again.
One thing we see in this, especially in one of the films more epic battles is that gods die. Those in Asgard aren’t gods per se. They are aliens of a different dimension. The spirituality of it is slightly taken away. They know that they are seen as gods to many. They know that they live life spans thousands of years long. But gods do die. Those in Asgard do die. Many die. And the mention of Valhalla was never given (even though it is one of the 9 realms in the Norse sagas).
Where do gods go when they die? Where do they go if they’re already in the comic book version of a heaven?
Can gods die? Yes. Yes they do.
One of the things that came to my mind was the fact that Jesus, who in the very nature God (He’s the second person of the Trinity), who is God in the flesh, came and lived amongst us. And he died. He died upon the cross. Where did he go?
He went to hell. He went to the realm of the dead. He suffered in anguish and pain. He not only defeated death, but he conquered hell itself. And defeated the enemy, the Devil.
If the gods of Asgard die, and so did our God, Jesus, die, what is the difference? Jesus came back. He was raised to life resurrected. He was raised in majesty and splendor. And he’s coming back in majesty, splendor and mighty in power! That’s not so with the gods of Asgard.
There is a benefit to Jesus going through hell, literally, for us.
The Heidelberg Catechism (yes, I’m getting all Reformed here) looks at the benefit this way:
“[It assures] me during attacks of deepest dread and temptation that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from hellish anguish and torment” Lord’s Day 44, Q&A 44
The Asgardians never went through that for us.
When we look at spirituality, we look at who is the one who best identifies with us. Who is the most like us. We want to look to those who are flawed like we are. We gravitate towards flaws. Thor is flawed. Odin is flawed. Jesus, not so flawed. He’s perfect. In his perfection he suffered for us. In fact, when we go through suffering, we know we have someone who walks along side of us who suffered himself.
Do you wan to be spiritual? Do you want to be spiritually alive? Know that in the deepest parts of pain and torment, we have someone who went through it. Not just went through it, but when through it for you. For me. There is someone who faced it all so that we wouldn’t have to. Someone who went before us to conquer the way. One who makes it possible for us to be spiritually alive.
So, gods do die. Our God did die. More than that though, was raised to life again and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father and is praying for us, speaking on our behalf. And because he can be everywhere at once by the power of His Spirit, is with us constantly, walking with us, living in us, and being there for us, going ahead of us and behind us. Amazing. Awe-some!
So, you wish to be spiritual? Come to the one who can give you true spirituality. Come to the one who can truly be with you and help you be spiritually alive. Come to Jesus, he’s calling you.