Friday, June 28, 2013

Theological reflections from World War Z

Recently I watched the movie “World War Z” at the Brahman Theater, by accident. Promising my mom and adopted mom that we would see Lone Ranger, we arrived to find that it only ran once per evening. So instead, we saw World War Z. And, I must say: watching my mom watch WWZ was worth the price of admission! The plot is riveting: A loving family finds a world suddenly gone mad, with things that look human but are dead inside -- human zombies, destroying life. Is there anything worse than something that looks human but lacks life, and spreads death?

As I watched the movie, a Scripture formed in my mind:  As for you, you have been made alive, who were once dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Walking dead men! People dead in spirit, who move about in body but lack true life, and bring destruction -- WWZ illustrates an ancient spiritual story. If the Bible is true, then without the supernatural regeneration of our spirit, every human is only a walking dead person. Even as we move about in our bodies and experience soul life [mind, will and emotions], without saving relation with God, we are dead in spirit. Walking zombies!

The zombie apocalypse is here and has been since the fall of Man. People, dead in spirit, wander throughout human time, slaying as they go. Ever wonder how humans can be responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths in the “Century of Progress?”  Ever wonder how a “civilized nation” can practice a barbarism of infant sacrifice, on the altar of convenience? Look no further than death in spirit: Humans may look alive, moving about in body, experiencing soul-emotions and mind-thoughts, but we are dead in spirit without being “made alive in Christ.”

World War z has a scene where bloodthirsty zombies frantically and frenetically climb over each other to breach a protective wall in Israel. They breach the wall and run through the streets consuming as they go: voracious madness, insatiable destruction… such a graphic picture of lost human nature! This is what we experience in our world: spiritually dead humans frantically pulling everyone down to their level of death. Consume. Destroy. Infect. Fallen human nature!

Thankfully, this is not the end of the story. In real time, God “sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law.” Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy sin, and in Him was no sin (1 Jn. 3:5). He, the sinless One, took our curse for us. HE TOOK THE FULL EFFECT OF THE VIRUS OF SIN, that we might have spirit life. And in accepting Him, we are cured -- we are vaccinated against death, infused with the very life of God!

Numbers 21 describes a crisis of Israel in the wilderness. The people were bitten by thousands of deadly vipers and the venom passed quickly through the camp. God instructed Moses to raise up a brass serpent on a pole -- that all the dying children of Israel might look and live: In the very look of faith, they were healed from the curse! Scripture later calls this brass serpent a preview of Jesus: He hung on the cross, that we who are fatally bitten with the serpent of sin, might look to Him and live. "He became sin, who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him!" Alleluia!

Yes, the zombie apocalypse is here, and it’s worse than ever we imagined. The virus of sin has infected every human on planet earth, but there is Hope! You can make your calling and election sure, in the healing grace of Christ: Friend, look and live!



Note:This is updated to reflect an article that I wrote for the September 18th edition of the Okeechobee News.

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