This will be a quick post in which I don’t intend to say anything new or profound, except in the sense that the gospel is always profound. I just think the co-occurrence of The Walking Dead‘s season finale with Easter Sunday is too good an opportunity to pass up. If you’re a TWD fan, you’ve probably already noticed this conjuncture and have been tweeting little jokes about it all week. While I can appreciate this subcategory of morbidly irreverent humor, I want to remind us all of a few basic yet important truths.
We often forget that Christ’s resurrection means our resurrection too. Do a search on occurrences of the term “first-fruits” in the Bible–in the Old Testament, you’ll get instructions about bringing your produce to the temple, but in the New Testament, you’ll find all kinds of good doctrine, most if not all from Paul, about how Christ’s resurrection was only the first in a series of resurrections. There will indeed be a day when “all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth” (John 5:28-29). It sounds a lot like a Romero-esque scenario in which “the dead will walk the earth,” EXCEPT THAT THEY WON’T BE DEAD. The difference between reanimation–when corpses become mobile–and resurrection–when formerly dead people live again–couldn’t be more pronounced.
So when you watch The Walking Dead tomorrow night and you see all those rotting bodies stumbling around outside the gate of the prison where our friends are holed up, don’t think for a minute that this is what the Bible means when it talks about the defeat of death. There won’t be anything creepy about the resurrection, just like there isn’t anything creepy about having an Easter sunrise service in a cemetery (I saw a sign for one of those while driving past Alta Vista, VA, yesterday). And when you attend a church service tomorrow morning, as I hope you do (whether it’s at sunrise or not), don’t think for a minute that Christ’s resurrection was just a past event that’s nice to remember but that has no effect on the present or future.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58