Monday, June 11, 2012

Zombies In The Bible?

I like a good zombie flick as much as the next guy, though I'm not as up on my zombie lore as many of my friends.  So when I see a topic on zombies in the Bible and comments like "Jesus was the first zombie" my ears prick up.

There are several things that people may bring up in this discussion.  The obvious choices are Jesus and Lazarus.  Both of them died and were laid in their tomb but later "got better" and came back to life.  But there are other events like this spread throughout the Bible

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.  Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
1 Kings 17:17-23

When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.  
2 Kings 4:32-35

But the most "classic" example has to be after Jesus died.

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
Matthew 27:50-53

Sounds like zombies, right?  


The problem comes in the definition.  Historically zombies came from voodoo and were enslaved automatons.  What we currently view in popular culture as a zombie (such as in Zombieland and The Walking Dead) really originated in George Romero's classic 1968 Night of the Living Dead.  In our current parlance we see zombies as rotting undead creatures who seek out brains and human flesh upon which to feast.  That doesn't exactly sound like what we read in the Bible, does it?  Everywhere in the Bible that we see someone brought to life after dying they are perfectly fine.  They aren't decomposing and they don't develop a craving for cerebrum.  They are also resurrected by the power of God and His prophets, not by some curse or virus.  I don't think that if Lazarus had bitten one of his sisters after he came out of the grave that Mary or Martha would become undead themselves.  If we call these resurrected people "zombies", then anyone who has been clinically dead but revived by CPR is also a zombie.

However, it would be very cool to see a movie about the crucifixion of Christ actually show that scene out of Matthew!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Binding And Loosing

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
 Matthew 16:19

I've  been listening to Beth Moore's "Believing God" series on CD, after having read the book.  It's really great stuff!  Honestly, that book has helped turn me around and enabled me to get out of the pit of clinical depression.

But there was something interesting she said on one of the discs.  In the above Scripture, Jesus is using a tense in Greek that means "has already been".  So really He is saying "whatever you bind on Earth will be what has already been bound in Heaven."  In essence, He's repeating part of the prayer that He teaches the Apostles.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9-10

Look at that last part.  Jesus is guiding us to pray that things on Earth happen as they already have in Heaven.

Why is this so powerful a thought and revelation?  Because we are given power to do things that God has already done!  Through all of our struggles we wonder how we can survive and do what we need to do.  But God already did it!  He has already overcome these struggles!  And He has given us the power to do these same things on Earth.

Do you think that God wants Satan bound up and powerless in our lives?  Well, He already did that in the spiritual realm, and has given us the power to do that in our Earthly lives.  Does God want the Holy Spirit free and loose to blow around us and through us?  He has allowed that in Heaven and released the Spirit onto Earth, so all we have to do is loose the Spirit within us.  God isn't asking us to take on unreasonable challenges.  All he wants us to do is use the power that He gives us and do in our lives what He has already done spiritually.

Grab hold of that thought!  God gives us power and authority to do what He has done in this regard!  And because God already did the "heavy lifting", our job is that much easier.