The other night, Jonathon and I watched “The Avengers” again. It’s one of my favorite comic book movies, of which there have been a rash in the last handful of years. I didn’t read many comics growing up. I have no backstory with any of the superheroes in this film. But these characters, updated 3D versions of 2D personalities, captured my interest.
Prince Loki, desperate to win a world since he can’t have Asgard, focuses on subduing Earth and its people. Brother Thor rules Asgaard, leaving Loki green with envy and lusting for power. Long story short, he arouses the Avengers in order to stage a worldwide battle. He craves the attention such a war will win him.
I’ve written about this before. The Avengers don’t like each other. Each comes to the table with different strengths and a unique point of view. Tony Stark, billionaire playboy philanthropist (his words), always looks out for number 1. Captain America – who spent 70 years on ice – is a soldier and die hard patriot. Natasha Romanoff, aka The Black Widow, is a martial arts expert with a dark past. There are others, but you get the point. Each thinks they’ve got the corner on reality and how to get things done.
Throughout the movie, their individual weaknesses betray them. They discover they have to work together. None is strong enough alone. Thwarting Loki’s plan unites them for a combined purpose.
I started thinking about these verses.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while…
When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.
Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. – Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10
The “them” the devil had deceived were the masses, the unspoken for, the ones not given to worship Jesus. God hates deception, especially when it involves his precious creation. That ungodly trinity of beast, false prophet and devil will spend their eternities in pain and suffering. They reaped what they sowed.
Satan’s great war, shiny swords clashing under the blazing sun, never takes place. You know why? Because Jesus, the Carpenter-King, won the victory on the cross. Satan never gets to lead a charge on the armies of God. He amasses an army, sure. Yet he will be plucked up and thrown down, sans ceremony, into a place of burning and screaming.
Back to the movie. It seems appropriate that the Hulk, most reluctant to get on board with any sort of skirmish, has the honor of humbling Loki. As I watched the Hulk slam Loki into the cement floor of Stark Tower’s viewing room, I thought: Yes! This is it. The good part. Loki’s speech, “I am a god. You are all beneath me!” is the last, desperate plea of Satan himself. I mean, not that Hulk is the verdant Messiah. But the last destruction of Satan will come without warning and be filled with endless torment. Our enemy has already been defeated. He just doesn’t know it yet.