Christianity 201

April 8, 2012

Zombies in the Bible?

The “post time” for this blog is usually later in the afternoon EST, and it’s already Easter Monday when other people are reading this. So in a post-resurrection environment, I can’t think of a more unusual focus for today than this piece from the blog Cindy By The Sea. I just wish I had my own computer today so I could add some pictures to this piece!!


You’ve seen them, their glassy-eyed stare a dead give away, as to who they really are; advancing at you across the theatre screen with slow determination, as if, they really are – coming for you.  Giggling nervously, you reach in to your popcorn bag, hoping, in the silliness of it all, that when the theatre lights go back on, you’ll find, it really isn’t true; Zombies are not for real and they certainly are not – coming for you.


I have to confess I have not spent much time thinking about these “not dead- yet, not alive” animated corpses, which, for some reason or another have made their way into pop-movie culture since the early days of cinema.  That was until this past week, when, I heard that a co-worker had asked my son-in-law, if, Zombies were mentioned in the Bible. Apparently, he had read Matthew 27:51-52 and thought that it might be a reference to Zombies.

“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of their graves after His resurrection, they went in to the holy city and appeared to many.”

And, while that may seem laughable to those of us more studied in scripture, it is actually a good question, for this verse (mentioned, only in the gospel of Matthew), is a mystery that even commentators cannot agree upon.

So, what is it talking about?

First of all, it is not talking about Zombies. But, is related, rather, to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  A Zombie, according to Wikipedia is an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means, such as witchcraft, but, this is not the case in the gospel of Matthew; for these people are not simply re-animated corpses; they are fully alive, resurrected, flesh and blood human beings, who went into the city and interacted with the residents living there.

And, while, we are not given many details as to the reason why, we can safely assert that their appearance is somehow, tied to the sacrificial death of Jesus, by, virtue of the other very important detail mentioned in the verse, the tearing of the veil in two.

Up until this time, one man and one man only, could enter the presence of God in the Holy place of the temple, as a thick, heavy curtain separated this place from all but, the high priest, who was allowed to enter it, once per year on the day of Atonement, and only then, with a sacrifice of blood.  The tearing of the veil, when, Jesus was crucified, indicated that God had accepted the sacrifice of his son as an atonement for sin and was satisfied that it was sufficient to permanently pay for sin. Therefore, access to the presence of God, once limited to the High Priest alone, was now open, to all who would accept that payment as their own.

The resurrection of Old Testament saints, further demonstrated, the power over life and death that Jesus held, confirming, by their appearance the reality of the transaction, which, had taken place – the power of the resurrection over all who believe; past, present and future – to those, who by faith looked forward to the cross, as well, as to those of us who by faith are looking back.

Zombies, if you look closer into the subject, is a mixture of voodoo and sorcery, the mixing and administration of powerful central nervous suppressing and mind altering drugs.  Witch doctors, or those trained in the use of these drugs administer them to their victims causing them to fall into a trance like state with respirations and blood pressures, so low, the victim actually appears  to be dead.  The victim is then buried and revived hours or even days later, fully under the control of the perpetrator in their mind altered state.  Witch doctors and those who, practice the magic arts use these things to create fear and hysteria among those who are vulnerable, which gives them an enormous amount of power and control.

This is not what happened to Jesus, nor is it, what had happened to the Saints, who were resurrected at the time of the crucifixion.  Jesus, was undeniably dead, when, the spear that pierced his heart caused a sudden rush of blood and water from the wound,  undeniable proof that the pericardial sac, which encloses the heart had been punctured.  And, the OT Saints, they had been dead for centuries, their flesh and bones long decayed in to the sands of time.

There is a lot that can be gleaned from this brief passage of scripture. I see the hint of a rapture event, as these Saints obviously did not return to the graves from which they had come, but, most likely ascended in to heaven, some days later, just as Jesus did.

It also, makes me think about the supposed restoration to life the Anti-Christ will have after suffering a deadly head wound. Satan can do alot of things, but, he has no power over life and death, therefore, what appears to be a resurrection, will most assuredly be a deception.  A body double, a clone or powerful drugs used to simulate a death; I’m not sure.

But, Zombies, in the Bible? No, no, Zombies in the Bible. In the White House, maybe, but, not in the Bible!

Thank you, God for the sacrifice of your Son and the assurance your word gives us that we too, by faith in him, will one day be resurrected or raptured in to the presence of your glory.



October 13, 2011

The Last 14 Hours of Christ’s Earthly Mission

Structured somewhat like an episode of the television series 24, Dawson McAllister’s 2009 book A Walk With Christ to the Cross: The Last Fourteen Hours of His Earthly Mission, is probably one of the more explicit books I’ve seen in terms of Christ’s suffering.

I picked up this book and not-so-randomly jumped to chapter three, which deals with Jesus in Gethsemane.  I’ve read some rather detailed descriptions of Christ’s crucifixion — I think Chuck Swindoll has a book that is exceptionally clear on this — but considering that I was reading a chapter consisting of 90-minute window before Jesus was even arrested, nothing at all prepared me for what I read. 

The chapter is based on a combination — or harmonization — of all the gospel accounts.  I’d hoped to find some text from the book online, but since that wasn’t an option, and since it’s hard to excerpt bits of this chapter without missing the impact of the whole, I’ll just note a few things in bullet points:

  • His friends didn’t understand His pain
  • …and they were soon to abandon Him.
  • The severity of what He was about to face could mean that physically, He was going in to shock.
  • Jesus began to be sorrowful; emotions absolutely shot.
  • Jesus became deeply distressed; He began to shudder; some believe this was to the point of a mild heart attack.
  • He pressed His face to the ground and prayed, basically, “Abba Father! Is there another way?”
  • He asked himself: Could He do it? Was it right to take all our sin on Him at once? Could he bear the utter hell of being forsaken by The Father?  Was humankind worth the suffering?
  • Nonetheless, He had to make a yes or no decision. 
  • He sweat drops of blood: Hematidrosis is the technical name for this condition; blood passing through the veins into the sweat glands.
  • He would want to do The Father’s will, but His whole system would be shouting, “NO!”
  • All these things considered, He might have died right there, but The Father sent an angel to comfort him; in some way the angel ministered to Jesus; the almighty creator of everything being comforted by a created being.

[…I have no words at this point…]

What we learn from Jesus’ time in the garden:

  • Humility.  If we’d walked by that garden and looked over the wall, we wouldn’t have said, “Oh, I get it…God in human form!  That must be God in the flesh.”  …Our first reaction would have been, “Who is this peasant Jew having a nervous breakdown?”
  • Sin is no small thing to Jesus.  What troubled Him deeply even to the point of death?  What was it He saw in the garden?  Answer: He saw sin in all its fury. 
  • Jesus considered us worth the suffering.  Hebrews 12:2 “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.”

Items in all bullet points are edited quotations from the book.