So–Jesus & The Walking Dead?
The twain do not meet, right?
They may have more in common than you think. Let me explain.
The Walking Dead is a show about just that–the walking dead, corpses reanimated, creatures of pure appetite. They exist only to consume. They are all id–mindless animals. People, while not mindless, are creatures of appetite, too. You could say that Jesus died to redeem us from our appetites–our destructive appetites. This is what the Bible calls “sin.” And in biblical terms, we are all the walking dead–until Christ finds a home in our hearts.
Thing is, the struggle with our “dead” flesh doesn’t cease when we accept Christ. No; rather, we become people of two natures: one heavenly, one earthly. And the two are constantly in conflict with one another. In addition to this internecine struggle, we live in a world at war. Everyone else out there lives in conflict with themselves as well, held under sway of the unholy three: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
This is what the Bible terms the “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The principalities and powers–the devil and his angels: beings who hate us, oppose us, and seek–like zombies–to devour us (“be therefore on your guard for your enemy, the devil, ROAMS around like a roaring lion (shambling zombie) seeking whom he may devour”). Yes, God is greater–and the ultimate victory has been won–but in the meantime we live, like the characters of The Walking Dead, in enemy-occupied
territory. This is a world under siege.
The thing is, before, we went along as part of the world system–not knowing we were dead. Then Christ came and gave us life. Now we are aware of the conflict. And like Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes–who symbolically died–we have been reborn into a world at war. Indeed, that is how the show begins: Rick takes a grievous wound, lapses into a coma, and is for all intents and purposes rendered dead to the world. When he awakes, it’s to the world of the dead. Like us, he’s reborn into a world at war. And for a brief time, he becomes the “disciple” of Morgan, who teaches him of the apocalypse, and how to dispatch the enemy.
Like us, in addition to the threat of the “walkers” (zombies, demons), he finds both enemies and allies. Yes, like our world, there are those who, instead of uniting against a common enemy, would exploit this war for their own ends. And they don’t much care who–living or undead–they kill to stay alive.
All the while not knowing that they’re already dead themselves.
Yet Jesus says that he who seeks to save his life shall lose it, and he who gives his life for my sake, and the Gospel’s, shall find it.
Rick Grimes, at least in season one of the series, represents this voice of life, of hope, of humanity in a world gone mad.
He has come to proclaim liberty to the captives–held in shackles of fear, cowering in hiding
from the enemy.
And, really, to keep their sorry a**es alive.
Just like Jesus.