Friday, January 17, 2014

The Walking Dead

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,… But God, … even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5)
One of the most popular television shows in our day is The Walking Dead. The show follows a band of survivors after a terrible apocalypse in which the dead come back to life, and anyone infected by the dead quickly becomes one of them. As of this point in the show, there is no cure. In fact, everyone pretty much expects the same fate when they die: immediate "regeneration" as a "walking dead." It is a scary proposition.

Here in Ephesians we see the exact opposite in play. In this case, the whole world is walking dead. There are no survivors, and there is no cure. We roam about in rotting corpses plagued with sin. In short, there is no hope. Then comes the most wonderful word: "But." At this juncture, God comes into play. Here he makes us alive with Christ, and in the context of the whole chapter, even the whole book, we can see that God makes us alive through faith by grace. As terrible as the idea of being a walking corpse may be, that is not the end of the walking dead. Judgment and wrath is coming. We desperately need a cure. And God has provided by means of Christ's death and resurrection.

I have no idea how the television show will end. I don't have cable, so I am not watching it. But the Bible is clear: we can be made alive through Christ. All we have to do is believe, to trust in his death on our behalf, and God will give us new life. At the end of this section, we can see how Paul describes this new life:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
We who were the walking dead and have been made alive should now walk in good works, living according to the grace we have received, bringing the message of life to those who are still dead.

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