Z-Day

The Zompocalypse is upon us. No, really, it is. In fact, it’s been going on forever and ever, and we’ve never even noticed it.

The dead walk among us, haunt us, devour us, and lay waste to our lives. Everywhere you go, you see dead people. They have warm bodies and names like Shawn and Michael, but being around them is no thriller.

Cliches aside, animated dead men truly are all around. How can that be? Simple: we refuse to let dead dogs lie in their graves. The undead fill the churches and worship halls. They clog ministries and services. They simply won’t stay dead!

 

… Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. Col 2:11b-12

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds… Eph 4:20-23

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Cor. 5:17

 

When we accept that we need help, that we can’t do it on our own, that we need Jesus to rescue us, a profound change happens. Mystical, even. We die, and then we come back to life. Not our old life, no, but a brand new life that doesn’t involve that old life one bit.

A sad misconception that too many followers of Christ have is that God desires behavior modification. We post huge lists of do’s and don’ts and scathingly reprimand anyone who misses a single check mark. This is a case of those who refuse to learn from history repeating it. Read the Old Testament and know that behavior modification doesn’t work.

God doesn’t want us to act better; He wants us to be better. To be the beautiful, perfect people He created us to be. Our old selves, the people we come into this world as, just can’t hack it. We’re born sinful, and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to overcome that genetic default. Better people than me or you have tried and come up short.

God decided to do away entirely with that old person that we started out as. When Jesus died for us, He also died as us. As far as God is concerned, you and I and everyone else died on that cross that day. When we agree to let Jesus be our substitute, we die.

And then comes the good part. We live again! Jesus went into the grave covered in every sin ever committed. He walked out of the tomb pure, unblemished, and brand-spanking new. He had become everything God intended for Him to be. Since we agreed to let Christ take our sins, we also agreed to let Him give us new life, a life free from the garbage, the rot and decay.

When we struggle with sin after rising with Christ, we’re struggling with that corpse of our old self. We’re letting it climb out of its tomb and devour our peace and joy and love. That un-living body wants what it lost, and it’s determined to have it back. A single bite can ruin an otherwise healthy, living body.

Depending on the shows you prefer, killing zombies comes in many forms. Generally accepted methods include dismemberment, disintegration, and incineration. Go for the head, the spine, the heart. But the best way to defeat zombies uses no explosives, blades, or torches.

Live in an environment where the dead cannot survive.

Spiritually speaking, our undead selves live in the past. Memories of failures, things we should have done, ways we ought to have done better. That’s over. Gone. Bye-bye. You can’t change the past (even Time Lords can’t change everything). If you live in the present and the future, the zombies can’t follow you.

Who are you? Who are you now? Who are you becoming? Who does God say you are and will be? These questions are the mile markers that lead us to higher places, where destruction cannot climb after. Don’t fight the hordes; outrun them!

Churches overflow with long-faced mourners who talk about the crosses they must bear and the penitence they must do. Those are zombies. They’re trying to resurrect the life they had before they died, and it stinks. The cross came before the tomb, and the tomb was left empty. Don’t change your behavior; change your life.

When you walk in newness of life, those old struggles won’t be so hard. As you grow into your new life, the shadows of the past will evaporate. You’ll find that living righteously is easy. Why? Because the righteousness of Christ is already in you. The lyches will wither and starve because you won’t be feeding them your fear of failure and desperation for approval.

You are destined to succeed and are so deeply loved.

 

 

This post inspired by the teachings of Graham Cooke.

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