This year, the advent of Easter (the day when Christians celebrate Jesus rising from the dead) comes in the midst of a zombie phenomenon that has become a huge deal with teenagers, especially in our culture today. Not being one personally interested in vampires and zombies, I find myself musing about what causes such widespread obsession. Zombies in particular are considered “walking dead” or “the un-dead:” as they have come back from the grave, in a sense, and now walk about among the living. I wonder, “Does the interest come from an underlying fascination with death and life? Is this merely another way to address our innate human desire to understand the purpose of life and what happens after death? Or perhaps do zombie fans inadvertently admit a feeling of being a “dead man walking” by their zombie fascination? ”
I can’t say for sure what draws these young people to the current phenomenon, but I do know a Guy who actually came back from the grave. He lived many years ago but many of His life events were recorded. His name is Jesus. Historically, His life and death were so significant that they marked a change in how we count years in time (B.C. or A.D.). Now if He is so important then surely archeologists would have worked hard to find His grave. And His remains. But that’s the thing: no one found His bones. So the stories about His resurrection appear to actually be… true. Jesus died, and His body was buried. Now He is no longer dead and His body is no longer buried. True story.
To contrast zombie stories, Jesus didn’t come back gruesome and maimed, as He had died. He didn’t come back seeking to prey upon living humans. No, He came back a fully restored, fully alive person – offering Himself as a source of Life to the rest of the living. Now that is something to talk about! That is something to think about. And probably, that is why His story didn’t just stay among the few who knew Him. Plus He told people He was God. The news of this Guy spread like wildfire. And today we can read all about Him in a book full of Life, called the Bible. I read the Bible because I believe what this Jesus guy said, and I want to be like Him and learn more about Him. One chapter in particular, Luke 24, is a favorite of mine – describing some of what Jesus did in His life AFTER death. Take a look at it; I bet you will find Him pretty fascinating. Reading the Easter story reminds me of how perfectly He does everything He does, and it reminds me of why I believe. Because, when He died He took the punishment that I deserve, and when He rose again He gave us hope for Life forever, showing His power over death.
You see, if Jesus never came back to life, He would be just another interesting dead guy. History is full of them. But He did—he did come back to life. Because Jesus is alive, we are not the walking dead, seeking out the living. We can be fully alive in Him.