Zombies for Jesus

About a year or two ago, my kid’s got me started watching the AMC series, The Walking Dead. You are probably thinking something strange about me right now. But the show is filmed around the area where I live–Atlanta, Newnan, Senoia. So naturally, I started watching to spot the filming locations, and then I developed a liking for the show.

What do I mean by “Zombies for Jesus?” Recently, I watched some Walking Dead reruns, and I began to reflect on several passages in Romans, specifically chapters 6,7 and 8. Paul uses expressions like:

Old man and new man
Body of death, body of sin
Crucified with Christ
Slaves of sin, freed from sin
Dead to sin
Put to death the deeds of the body
Groaning within

So what does Paul mean by all this, and what’s up with terms like “old man” and “new man?” The reason I even bring the question up is that it has an important bearing on our personal and spiritual growth.

After studying the Roman 6, 7 and 8 passages for many years, I believe Paul is saying following:

The old man was our life apart from Christ and God’s transforming work.
The new man is our life in Christ, having been renewed by God’s Spirit.
We have literally been changed in our spirit.
The change is real–not simply a legal transaction.
We can set our minds on the Spirit.
The new man no longer lives under the tyranny of sin.

We still lug around this body of death—our sinful bodies. As we groan, stumble and shuffle across this earth, we will disobey God–no doubt. These bodies are still infected with sin. In our current state no cures exist for this body. So, in a sense, a part of us is like the walking dead.

However–in our inner man–we are empowered by God to change. Paul is imploring us to live up to who God has re-created us to be. We’ve been made alive in Christ. It’s not through positive thinking, clever mind games or our power–but through God’s grace and His gifts. A holy lifestyle is finally a doable action item.

Some day these zombie-like bodies will be done away with. Hopefully, mine won’t get jabbed in the head with a knife–LOL. But I thank God that He has planted something inside me that is growing and developing into something greater and eternal.

Call to action: Go back and reflect on Romans 6, 7 and 8. What other important principles do you read in these passages?

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6 Responses to Zombies for Jesus

  1. When I read the title, I didn’t know quite where you were heading. 🙂 An interesting take on a currently popular subject.

    For a while, I grappled with the “Since I’m born again, why do I sometimes catch myself falling into old habits” conundrum. What helped me get a better understanding was hearing a widely-known televangelist refer to the flesh as the residue of sin. Our flesh reverts to things that lead to zombie-like, spiritual death. But thank God that our spirits being entirely new and like God.

    Another key principle is the distinction between seeking to attain righteousness by legalism (which is never attainable by us), and actually having attained righteousness through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

    • Henry, I agree with your comments. It is all through the righteousness of Christ. Through the title and the zombie subject line, I was trying to capture the two realities spelled out by Paul in Romans 7. Our inner man–our spirits–have been made alive, but we continue to have to deal with this body of death–the flesh. But we can attain victory over the flesh and we can now make the right choices to secure victory over it.

  2. Ted Casey says:

    Good post, Scott. I like WD too. I find a lot of analogies with spiritual life.To your list, I’d add how in the show everyone is infected with the virus that causes them to become zombies. It’s like our sin nature… always present, ready to rise up. I wish there was a continuation of that analogy on the show, where the dead could be redeemed. Maybe the next season?

    • Thanks for the comment, Ted. Seems like there was a movie not to long ago where the zombie does a “reversal” and I think it was a love story. Yes, there are a lot of things in these stories that are analogous to the spiritual world.

  3. Wow, never thought of the analogy that we are all “infected” with sin. It will get us all in the end. That is unless there is some super-cure out there that decimates all infection… Thank God for Jesus Christ! Good post. I’ll be subscribing.

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