You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery. (Psalm 2:9)
There cannot be many people around the world who are not at least aware of the dramatic success of Marvel Comics The Avengers move series. The first film in that series was Iron Man, which grossed more than half a billion dollars internationally. Played by Robert Downey Jr., the Iron Man character can fly, fire off all kinds of fantastic weaponry, and is impervious to bullets. That first movie closed with Downey/Iron Man looking into the camera and saying, “The truth is, I am Iron Man.” I’d like to use today’s verse from the Psalms to introduce you to the real Iron Man — a proven, historical figure who actually lived and performed infinitely greater feats of wonder and power and grace than any fictional movie character.
A number of psalms can be categorized under the heading of “Messianic” because of their prophetic portrayal of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. These sacred songs give us great insight into the meaning and message of His ministry through His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and His ultimate return to earth and eternal reign. When Psalm 2:9 refers to a “rod of iron,” it is speaking of a coming judgment and pointing to the second coming of the real Iron Man, Jesus Christ, who will rule the nations “with an iron rod” (Revelation 19:15) and put all things right forever.
In His first advent as a baby in Bethlehem, Jesus came as our suffering Servant, who died to pay the penalty for our sins. He came meek and lowly, riding on a donkey, to deliver us from the wrath and judgment of Almighty God. But when Jesus comes the second time, He will return as the real Iron Man, riding a white war horse, and He will not only rule and reign, but He will unleash the wrath and judgment of Almighty God, crushing all of His enemies and putting them under His feet.
Now, before any of you send angry messages, I am well aware that Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark, indulged in alcohol and immorality, but despite being a rich, arrogant sinner, Iron Man did display a few qualities of a Christ-figure: he demonstrated self-giving love and he ultimately died so that others might live.
The real Iron Man, whose sacrificial love for us took Him to a cruel cross and into the grave, walked out of that tomb alive and well on the third day. The eternally important question is this: Has He walked into your heart? If He has, then you have the only true Hero the world has ever known as your protector and provider. As your protector, Jesus will fight your battles for you and He will triumph in every one of them. As your provider, Jesus will meet you in your deepest place of need always, but not always in your place of want. But you can always be confident that He is working all things — even the really bad, hurtful things — together for your ultimate good.
So regardless of where this message finds you today, look to the real Iron Man, the One who is ready, willing, and able to help you conquer every challenge you face. Remember, greater is the power that is at work in you than any power that can come against you. Listen closely, Christian, and you can hear Jesus say, “The truth is, I am your Iron Man.”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!