Friday, May 13, 2011

The Undead and the Resurrection

Tonight I say amongst the dead.  Daylight was moving to some other part of the world.  Accompanied by headstones and bones, I prayed.  Up above, in place of the sun, was crescent moon surrounded by a slowly fading dark blue reminiscent of a Marian apparition yet to have occurred.  Around me flickered fireflies, light up the dusk left by the departing sun.  I say on a bench beneath a tree to spend some time in prayer with the dead.

Suddenly, an image flickered in my imagination, a memory, certainly brought on by the graves before me.  Corpses were rising from their places of rest to grab at the feet of the protagonists of a zombie film I had watched some weeks earlier.  These particular corpses desire the consumption of human flesh, indeed a rather morbid desire, but, then again, they are dead.  Still in prayer, for better or for worse, I began to reflect on the recent fascination with zombies, not only in film, but in novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and in normal conversation (as normal as conversation about the zombie apocalypse can be).

Why such a fascination?  Of course, there are different genre of dead alive compared to vampires, and vampires, especially their love lives, are big right now.  Still, why zombies?  I would venture to guess it is because there is a cultural fear of death that the, through the use of human imagination, is personified by those who are already dead but are no longer resting in peace.  Does this personification help us cope with the inevitability of death?  Does it ease our minds by playing with the prospect that one day our soulless bodies might be feasting on human flesh?  I think it puts the fear of death before us and, in a sense, mocks it, while still recognizing it can only mock and never allay that fear.

Death has no reason to be feared though.  It has been destroyed by the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Death, and therefore, zombies, have no power over us, who have been given the gift of entering through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Zombies, although maybe not intentionally, mock Christ's Resurrection, which in mocks our promised resurrection.  Zombies 'rise' decrepit, corrupted, and lustfully desiring flesh.  When we rise from our graves, we will have glorified bodies with the beauty of God shining through our flesh, desiring nothing but the glory of God.

Zombies have the place in popular fiction.  As Christians, Zombies can provide for us a reflection on our fear of death and on our future Resurrection.

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