Leave the Dead

 

I remember back when I was substitute teaching and I would read while the students did their work. Honestly, there wasn’t much else for me to do when I had a classroom full of good kids. The only issue was that I couldn’t just sit at the desk and be reading a book. If anyone came by they’d probably ream me out for not watching the class.

The solution to me was simple. Read books on my laptop. It is funny how people view you as working when you are sitting in front of a computer. In reality I was slacking off, but I looked like I was doing actual work.

So, reading on my laptop became a regular thing for me. The problem was the strain on my eyes from reading books online. You can only look at black text on a screen for so long before you get a headache. That lead me to reading comics on my laptop. With all the colors in front of me I didn’t have to worry about eye strain as much.

That’s how I read a lot of classic comics like The Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and Sin City. This was several years ago and a new comic starting receiving a lot buzz, The Walking Dead. I’ve always liked a good zombie movie, so I started reading the series. Turned out to be a great read. Of course, I had no idea at the time that The Walking Dead would become a huge television franchise.

LEAVE THE DEAD

So, why am I talking about The Walking Dead? I think it is a fascinating story of survival, conflict, and themes. Also, I think there are a lot of biblical parallels in the story. The bible has many references of the dead rising. Not like “zombies”, though. Lazarus didn’t eat brains after he came back from the dead. Revelations is not referring to a zombie apocalypse.

Though, there is something interesting that Jesus said about the dead. Matthew 8:21-22, “Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Jesus didn’t actually mean dead people walking around and burying each other. He was referring to the spiritually dead. We are not to be worried about them and instead we should be following Christ. I guess you could say there are spiritual zombies roaming around and all we should be concerned with is putting Christ first in our lives. Leave those spiritually dead people to their own volitions. 

FALSE HOPE

I was catching up on The Walking Dead this past week. It is a lot different from the original book. There are more characters, different events, and fresh conflict. I’ll warn you that I’m about to get into “spoiler” territory. So, if you haven’t seen the show you may want to stop reading.

Anyway, in season two a young girl named Sophia goes missing. Our group of protagonist are restlessly searching for her. Even though there are zombies everywhere and she is just a little girl, they don’t lose hope. That is a hard thing to do. It borders on the line of denial. In all likelihood Sophia was dead, but they never stopped looking for her. They never gave up that small sliver of a chance that she was alright.

I’m sure those characters prayed that she was OK and that they would find her. Similar to the way we pray for things that seem impossible. That is the sad thing about hopefulness. In Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Hope can end in massive disappointment and that was the case with Sophia.

When they finally find Sophia she had turned into a flesh-eating zombie. The reactions of all the characters when they find her was rememberable to me. There was an utter shock that they had false hope. It is a hard reality to burden when our biggest desires are deferred, but for every deferred hope there is a desire fulfilled.

At the end of the day we can always be hopeful that Christ loves us. This world is broken and things will not turn out the way we want them to sometimes. It is the nature of living in a sinful world, but we are forgiven of our sins. Christ has redeemed us so we can stand pure and unblemished. So, when we end up seeing the “Sophias” in are lives, remember to leave our dead and follow Christ. He is the true hope of this world.

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