May 03, 2019
No other film in recent years could probably rival the overwhelming response that Avengers: Endgame generated from fans worldwide. It was probably the most-anticipated movie of the decade, with ticket sales hitting record levels in different countries all over the world.
The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, successfully satisfied the entire Marvel fandom’s appetite as they brought on the silver screen a healthy serving of humor, nostalgia, excitement, and a tear-jerking finale to the decade-old cinematic franchise.
Eleven years and 21 films after, we can say that Avengers: Endgame is totally worth the wait.
But more than its plot and its cinematic elements, I think what greatly contributed to its success are the deep truths embedded in the film that resonate deeply in the human soul.
Following Thanos’ intergalactic genocide in Avengers: Infinity War, this movie takes us into a post-apocalyptic world where both ordinary humans and superheroes alike are trying to rebuild their lives from the rubbles.
After a botched attempt to get the infinity stones from Thanos, we see the remaining members of the Avengers battling a foe stronger than any other supervillain they have faced: failure.
In the movie, we see how their perceived failure ate up their identity.
Thor, now sporting a disheveled beard and a funny beer belly, succumbed to failure and abandoned his destiny. Iron Man packed his bag, turned his back on the Avengers, and retreated to a quiet life with his own family.
“I keep telling everybody they should move and grow. Some do. But not us.”
This probably resonates with many of us—how one colossal failure causes us to lose heart, wave the white flag, and retreat. In Endgame, we see not a bunch of superheroes ready to save the world. What we see is a ragtag team of heroes who are way past their prime but are intent to make things right.
They taught us that failure isn’t permanent, and that one can start over if he’s willing.
“It’s not about how much we lost. It’s about how much we have left.”
One of the supersized longings of our hearts is the desire to start again, and to break free from the shadow of the past failures.
The characters’ time travel via the quantum realm achieved more than just retrieving the infinity stones and defeating Thanos. As they traveled back in time, the characters were able to settle something in their respective past, which greatly shaped and affected their lives.
Thor was given a chance to talk with his mother, who reminded him of his identity and destiny. Tony Stark’s encounter with his father settled a lot of his childhood issues.
If you can travel back in time, what part of your past would you like to undo?
There’s good news! There’s a way to do that—not by way of a time machine, but by putting your faith in Jesus. As you surrender to Him, He makes you into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Endgame teaches us that there’s always hope, a second chance to redeem the past. God proved this on the cross, where He not only redeemed our past, but also purchased for us a future that’s beyond our wildest imagination.
The success of Endgame isn’t an isolated success; it was the product of the cumulative success of the other movies that gripped Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fandom all over the world.
MCU’s success reveals something about us. Marvel comic book creator, Stan Lee, said, “My theory about why people like superheroes is that when we were kids, we all loved to read fairy tales. Fairy tales are all about things bigger than life: Giants, witches, trolls, dinosaurs and dragons and all sorts of imaginative things. Then you get a little bit older and you stop reading fairy tales, but you don’t ever outgrow your love of them.”
Why, then, can’t we outgrow our fascination for fairy tales and superheroes? Because this fascination echoes some supersized longings in our soul.
Our souls know that we were meant for something more. Deep inside of us, we ache for greatness because, truth be told, we were created in the image and likeness of a powerful God. We cheer for superheroes with super powers, because our souls know that we are meant to be superheroes in a broken world.
In our heart of hearts, we cheer for the good guys and raise our fists as the bad guys eat dust and flee. Our souls long for a perfect kingdom where corruption and death are not a reality; a world where evil does not steal, kill, and destroy.
Perhaps the deepest longing inside of us that makes us cheer for heroes is the longing to be saved. We long for a savior who will rescue us and fight for us.
Avengers: Endgame’s prominent theme is the idea of self-sacrifice. We see this as Black Widow sacrificed herself just to be able to retrieve the precious soul stone.
But the ultimate sacrifice that stood out was Iron Man’s final sacrifice to wield the power of the stones and defeat Thanos. Dr. Strange nodded: It was the only sacrifice that can save the entire planet from death.
Avengers: Endgame points us to a bigger story that we’re all a part of.
More than 2,000 years ago, we saw not a superhero but a Messiah who subjected Himself to torture and death in order to save the world from “Thanatos”—Death. It was the only sacrifice that could save us, and this Messiah named Jesus, out of His great love for the world, did whatever it took to save us.
His message: Nothing can ever separate us from His love, that not even the powers of hell or any power in all creation will ever be able to separate us from this love. (Romans 8:38,39)
In Tony Stark’s words, “I love you 3,000.”
Photo Credits: https://mcucosmic.com/2019/03/14/heres-the-final-avengers-endgame-poster-in-high-res/