Avengers Endgame has been in theaters for a week and it’s already the sixth highest grossing film of all time. It was 11 years ago today that Ironman was released. Over the last 11 years (and 22 movies), they’ve all built up to Avengers Endgame.
Endgame is a sequel to last year’s Avengers Infinity War. In Infinity War, supervillain Thanos was collecting infinity stones in a goal to wipe out half the population of the universe. Thanos believed that this was for a greater good in reducing the population for the sake of preserving resources. At the end of Infinity War, Thanos succeeds and wipes out half of the population.
In Endgame, the remaining Avengers seek to take a final stand against Thanos in restoring the universe.
At the behest of Ant Man, Iron Man figures out a way for the Avengers to travel back in time and get the infinity stones in the past, before they were in the possession Thanos. They split into teams to work on acquiring the stones. In the past, Thanos learns of his future success and fate.
The Avengers are able to collect all of the infinity stones and to restore what Thanos destroyed. But Thanos is able to transport from the past to the present in an effort to take back the stones.
An epic battle ensues and he faces the full might of the Avengers. In the end, Iron Man takes possession of the infinity stones and destroys Thanos and his armies. In the process, due to the incredible energy which is released, Iron Man dies.
Evil is defeated and life is preserved in the universe. But it requires Iron Man dying. There was no other way to defeat Thanos and his armies but for someone to die. Iron Man had to make the ultimate sacrifice. At the beginning of the film, even in the face of the tragedy that has befallen creation, he’s finally happy. He has his wife and a daughter. He’s living peacefully with his family. But he gives that up.
The gospel in Avengers
There are gospel themes in any great story.
Jesus died to save humanity. And there was no other way, because no one else was worthy. Jesus is. Jesus was the worthy one who died for the unworthy. The righteous one who died for the unrighteous. In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul sums up the gospel:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Jesus was perfect. It took his life to die in place of an imperfect humanity and those who would believe in him. He took the penalty for our sins. He died in our place. No one else could have because no one else was perfect.
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Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.