Truth is, in the beginning [Gen. 1] we lost our spiritual purity [white] from a foreign evil [red] entering into our lives [Gen. 3]. But we’re not without [black] hope of God’s redemption [1 Cor. 15:22]. That said, we’re really more gray at the core. Gray is the color of zombies, the living dead. In our case, spiritual zombies.
The Apostle Paul wrote that we, all of us, start as spiritually dead men and women: “You were dead in the trespasses and sins…” [Eph. 2:1]. Question: If we are dead, then how is it we are…living? We are biologically alive with air in our lungs. We feel psychologically alive when we eat great food, hold a child in our arms, look at a sunset. Then how is it we are dead?
It’s because we’re born spiritual zombies. Dead spiritually, but hosting a spiritual virus within us. We’re alive not to God…but to sin. The bible talks about sin as missing the mark of God’s divine standard, as lawlessness. True. But why do we miss the mark? Why are we lawless? It’s primarily because though we’re dead spiritually, sin lives in us, moving us to follow a world energized by satanic forces [Eph. 2:2,3].
We sin and miss God’s holy standard because sin lives in us. Sin is described in the bible as “the flesh/sin nature” [Gal. 5:16], something that is “crouching at your door” whose “desire is for you” [Gen. 4:6], as a spiritual force and presence that “dwells” in us [Rom. 7:17] as a “body of death” [Rom. 7:24]. These are living terms the bible uses. The postmodern world needs to hear in the gospel a theology of sin that is communicated through a living harmartiology [study of sin], not just law-based harmartiology.
When you sin, do you feel greed, feel pride, feel anger, feel lust? Or do we experience sin simply a “cognitive” and “abstract” realization of breaking God’s law? We feel sin because sin comes to life in us as something that is living. And without Christ, we have no spiritual power as dead people to fight it. We are spiritually wandering zombies [Eph. 2:2], animated by this living force/presence inside us to consume, insatiably, people, things – even ourselves – in the search for spiritual life.
The good news of the gospel is that God, who is rich in his love and mercy and grace towards us who believe, has transformed us from living spiritual zombies into living children of God through Jesus Christ, “…even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.” [Eph. 2:5].
THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE isn’t just the fiction of The Living Dead or World War Z. It’s already upon us. What if the reason our pop culture has such a fascination with the end-game of a zombie apocalypse is because it serves as a spiritual metaphor for the very real living-dead spirituality of the masses without Christ?