Archives For Resurrection

Recently, I wrote a post entitled Jesus Didn’t Come to Make Your Life Better. As I’ve meditated upon this, I’m more and more convinced that it’s true: Jesus didn’t to make our lives better; rather he died to give us better lives. The distinction is far more than semantic; in fact, there lay a vast gulf between the two. In the one, the expectation is simply to improve upon the existing, e.g. make life better. In the other, well, it’s something else entirely, e.g., a new life.

Jesus didn’t come to improve the exisitng life, as if to renovate it. Rather, He came to tear it down and build something else–something better–in its place. So let us stop with the pandering nonsense of having our best lives now. Jesus came to resurrect the walking dead, but only those who know they’re dead can be raised. In simple point of fact, and in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “when Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.” There is no improving death. A corpse may appear animate, but is no less dead. This is a paradigm shift of monumental proportions.

It means we die:

To oursleves

To everything we hold dear

To what itching ears want to hear

To self-actualization

To the life we’re trying to build

To all the ways and means of trying to make it day to day which have never quite worked.

In short, we must die to the notion that Jesus came to make this life better, embrace death, and let him raise us into the better life he’s promised.

It’s not easy–far from it. “Consider the cost,” Jesus said. Have you?

If you believe this is true, that a paradigm shift is needed, will you join me in a community project to write it down for posterity? If you’re tired of the lies, of the easy believism, of trying to animate the corpse of a dead life, will you consider sharing the story of your life with me here? Who knows, this may grow into a movement.

The world needs your voice.

'Zombie Portrait' photo (c) 2012, Randy Salgado - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The Gospel? From decaying zombie flesh? Bear with me. The zombie craze began, arguably, with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968. That movie almost singlehandedly gave birth to the zombie genre as we know it today.

All along, the films have been full of sly social commentary, or crackling with stinging satire. At its (undead) heart, the genre is essentially a polemic against rampant consumerism. It’s a critique on the quintessentially American way of life. By confronting us with the brutality of (un)death, it shows us a number of uncomfortable things about how we live now.

Zombies are flesh and blood(less) metaphors for:

Us.

They are shambling mirrors of our souls, for as they are we could be. And each one of them used to be as we are: alive, with hopes, dreams, families. They are the still-walking reminders that death comes for us all. Much as we try, we cannot avoid it. Much like death itself, zombies cannot be bargained with, cannot be bought, cannot be be dissuaded from a single-minded purpose:

The destruction and consumption of all that is living.

The singularly uncomfortable truth is:

I am going to die. You are going to die. We are all going to die. And we have to reckon with that. As Malcolm McDowell (as Dr. Sorrin) said in Star Trek: Generations, “Time is the fire in which we burn.”

Of the horror genre, zombie fiction (film, comics, books, etc.) is especially well-suited to confront us with this grim reality, and in so confronting help us deal with it. But we have to be willing to face our fears.

This often means looking at the dark heart which beats within each of us. Because, though we are alive, we are dead. We are the living dead. And it is into this land of the dead that Jesus burst onto the scene. He, redolent with the smell of life, came to confront us in our decay.

He came, telling the truth:

You are dead.

We didn’t like His message. It made us uncomfortable. Surely, we were just fine? We were upright–walking, talking, observing the Law.

Didn’t matter.

We. Were. The. Zombies.

And the only way out, paradoxically, is death:

We must die to self, putting to death our members, and daily receive with meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save our souls. Even so, our bodies will one day die. Our flesh will see decay. To us, the dead-alive, Jesus says:

“I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in Me though he were dead yet shall he live. He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

Do you?

Born to Die?

randomlychad  —  June 26, 2012 — 5 Comments

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With but a few words yesterday, I tried to convey the dichotomy of mortality. In the beginning, God made Adam (and Eve) to live forever. He wasn’t supposed to die–it wasn’t meant to be this way.

And we all feel the ache.

To have eternal spirits bound in jars of clay seems almost a cosmic joke. But it is deathly serious. Even before we are born, our cells begin their inexorable, divisive march towards their eventual ruination.

That smell is all around us–from the baby’s diaper to the dung heap: something in us instinctively recoils in revulsion. Death, and decay–they say–are merely parts of the natural order. We are to get over it and get on.

It’s just the way it is.

But is it? Why then do we shudder? Why do we shower daily? Why are we offended by our own smells?

Because somewhere deep inside, we know: we were not made to die. We are more than this, more than the mud from which our bodies were formed.

We are living souls–souls whose bodies are passing away. But souls who will live again one day.

Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. He that lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Do you?

Resurrectionphoto © 2009 Jonathan Gray | more info (via: Wylio)

I had a mind to write about Transformers today, but changed course after watching a bizarre French film on Netflix instant streaming last evening.

The movie is called Les Revenants (“They Came Back”), and is about the aftermath of an odd two hours one day when all the recently-deceased return.

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