by Pastor Javin van Kaam
I’m an addict. I didn’t mean to be. Nothing about the AMC show “The Walking Dead” seemed appealing to me. Zombies, intense drama, and fake guts – nope. None of that sounds like anything I would ever watch. I’m more of a comedy guy and yet after only a few episodes into the first season I was hooked. I’m now something of a zombie expert. If there ever comes a day when knowledge of how to survive a zombie apocalypse becomes valuable I’m ready to protect my family, my friends, and you – if you’re lucky.
But in all seriousness, zombies are real. I shared this with our students at S.Y.C. (STATIC Youth Culture). In case you don’t know the show at all or couldn’t care less about zombies – allow me to catch you up...
The “walking dead” or “walkers” as they are called on the show are people who have died but come back to life with only basic brain function and motor skills available to them. Purely instinctive, they aren’t truly “alive” anymore. They don’t have memories of who they once were, emotions, or a personality. They are lifeless yet walk. They will try and eat anything that moves. They once were human but are something hideous now. They aren’t aware they are dead. They aren’t aware of anything. They aimlessly travel in herds or massive groups of other walkers all walking in the same direction.
But this is all silly fiction right? Wrong. Zombies are all around us. They are in our schools, our neighborhoods, and work places. I know this because I used to be one.
The Apostle Paul tried to warn us. You may not have realized this but he wrote about zombies in the book of Romans. In Romans chapter one, he explains where they came from. In the beginning God, with His infinite creativity and power, spoke everything into being except one thing. In all of creation there was only one that was created with His hands. A master artisan at work, He formed us and breathed life into our lungs – His signature on His work.
He did this while on one knee; proposing that He would love us forever with hopes that we would love Him in return. A perfect bride for His Son dressed in the splendor of life.
We instead traded life for death, knowledge over trusting him, belief for unbelief. We took our lives into our own hands and in one selfish moment – we died. We became zombies having the resemblance of life but having no life within us. We no longer wanted the things of God because our tastes had changed. We traveled with the other dead and had become hideous. We no longer resembled the creation.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
The good news today is that God loves zombies! He loves them for who He knows them to be and not who they currently are. In His love and His grace He provides a cure for death. It should be no surprise that this cure comes by trading death for life, trusting Him over our ways, belief for unbelief.
This life has a name and His name is Jesus. He was represented in the tree of life in the garden, and He is the rock of our salvation. He said that He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Romans 5:8 (God loves those who have become zombies)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 1:16-18 (God provides the cure through faith in His Son)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
John 3:16-18 (It isn’t based on your performance as a zombie but on your belief in Jesus)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He didn’t come to judge the world. A zombie is already dead! Jesus gives us an opportunity to once again be alive! “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Today, if you never have, choose life. Quit munching on things you were never meant to and come back to the realm of the living!
God, in his grace loves zombies, and so do I because I was once one of them. Let’s take every opportunity we get to share the gospel of love. It’s how the world will see Jesus. It’s how the world will be saved from death and enter into newness of life.