~ WITH THE SEEMING re-rise of The Walking Dead Season 4 (SPOILERS!)from the doldrums and whatever that mess was was Season 3, it looks like our pop-culture love of zombies isn’t entirely dead yet. As I’ve noted before, I find the whole thing very cool, interesting, and insightful. There’s a reason why the living dead bother and interest us more these days, than–say– giant gorillas, radioactive lizards, aliens, and the various fads and fashions (which have come and gone and come back) of scary stuff on the big and little screen.
Zombies have a relevance to each of us whether we watch the screens or read the books or not.
The spiritual season of Lent for Zombies. Actually, it’s only for zombies, as it were. How you doing, spiritually-wise? Need a little top up to your basic innate goodness? The Bible is having none of that. In Ezekiel, the prophet has a vision of God’s people, Israel– a valley filled with skeletons, bleaching in the desert sun. Deader than a dead man from Deadville.
That is God’s diagnosis of us: we’re dead.
“‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore [God tells Ezekiel] prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ” [Ezekiel 37]
Our life flits by, and what wasn’t isn’t again pretty darned fast. Ask anybody over 20– time speeds up as you age. A car-trip that took 4,235 years when you are 8 and whining “Are we there, yet?”, zips by like nothing when you are 38. Yet even within that fleeting life, we are spiritually dead. Not in need of a little spit & polish, a little sprucing up– we’re zombies. Now, there are two kinds of zombies– those who know it, and those who don’t.
The spiritual fact is that Christ Jesus did not come to make good men even gooder, but to make rotting zombies truly alive again: to bring us out of our spiritual and moral and actual graves, alive & made new. To take dead men and women and resurrect them inwardly now, and physically after death. He became one of us, that we might become like him: eternally alive, not the living dead. A veritable zombie unpocalypse!
The risen Jesus is not a zombie: dead AND alive at one and the same time (sorry, snarky clever atheists and your ‘Zombie Jesus‘ meme)– that is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle, or any other form of words sounding possible simply because we can say it. He was dead, and now is alive forevermore. This is either the biggest hope for our dead race ever, or we are lost in in our sins and evil, and without hope, meaning, purpose, and goodness. Zombies.
Nah.. I’m Good
If you proudly think that you’re good enough on your own, thank you very much, then you’ve not really grasped the nature of the problem, or the cure. Imagine your deathbed, however many years hence. That’s only a few spins of the earth away.. the number hardly matters.
We comfortable, safe, healthy moderns are much aggrieved over “The Problem Of Suffering”. God– like a celestial politician, should get his big government out there to cure all problems, ills, and pains. You know, because that’s worked so well in our Western societies, now careening over a cliff of debt and birth-dearth from comfy people many of whom can’t even be bothered to make babies to replace themselves, or rouse themselves from an Angry Birds coma to fight against enemies inside and outside their society who seek to destroy it in the name of a blood-drinking moon-god, or statist utopia and free cellphones and condoms for all. Sounds like we’re zombies.
To those who know themselves dead, the death of death itself is good news. The cure of our zombie plague that we become alive again, and forever, if we receive the undying life our friend Jesus offers to us– that’s big. Heaven big. All of time & space big. Redeeming our longings and joys and memories and sins and failings and death big.
Are you dead? ~