We Are All Zombies

[Dana Tuttle and I have both written posts for Aimee Byrd’s Housewife Theologian, although Dana’s have a habit of always being about historical women who have been killed for their faith. Get beheaded and Dana might write about you too. Here she’s deviated slightly from her usual fare in order to examine zombies and Christ, a worthy writing foray indeed.]

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This article has been festering in my brain for a while and I am thankful that Tim offered me an opportunity to let it ooze out into the blogosphere. Hold on, as I try to steer this train without wrecking!

Zombies have infiltrated our culture. They are everywhere! From television to video games, they have taken over.

  • On the popular television show “The Walking Dead”, adults can tune in every week to see if their favorite character has been eaten.
  • On the video game “Plants vs. Zombies”, children of all ages can use household plants to throw at zombies.
  • While waiting in the car line at the local elementary school, I notice a zombie sticker family, on the minivan ahead of me. The sticker claims, “We ate your stick family.”
  • Marathon runners can sign up for “The Zombie Run” and race, while being chased by zombies.
  • And my personal favorite…an online quiz to see how long you would last during the zombie apocalypse. Apparently, I would last a year!*

According to pop culture, I will have a chance to test out my survival skills sometime in the near future. I’m thinking my beer brewing skills will come in handy during that time. I can see me now, running through the woods with my steel pot and my cast iron bottle capper. I will have a great bartering skill and I’ll bet that capper can do some damage!

Our culture has made zombies a household name, which is why I am not surprised that my friend, Dustin, has a zombie parody of Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last supper”, in his home. A quick google search shows several pop culture parodies of this famous painting. Star Wars fans, Disney fans, and Michael Jackson fans can all have their favorite pop culture peeps posing in a Last Supper scene. There is a very large selection. If you are a fan of something, there is a parody for you!

The one that my friend owns shows Christ lying across the table, while being gruesomely eaten by his disciples, who happen to be zombies. It is extremely graphic. But when I look at it, I see a reflection of myself, of who we all are and who the disciples were – DEAD!

Some of you may find it offensive. I, on the other hand, found the gospel. I’m sure that was not the message that the artist intended, nonetheless it is there.

What I do find offensive is the way Christ is portrayed in our culture by Christians!

Portraying God Wrongly

We have the attractive white Jesus, located in the Christian book store, as well as the cartoon clip art Jesus, on our children’s coloring pages at church. Christian culture has made Jesus into a handsome guy and we have shrunk the Son of God into a thumb size picture to put on our church advertisements.

We are guilty of drinking out of Christian coffee mugs, with an image of Jesus slapped onto the cup. We hang our velvet poster of Jesus, next to our guest bathroom. (We pray our guests will come to know Jesus, as they make their way down the hall.) And don’t forget to “Honk, if you love Jesus” when we drive by you!

We are the ones who have made our Lord into a marketable product. We have reduced the one who “created all things” into home decorations, symbols on our car bumpers and jewelry around our neck.

Why do we do this? I think we do this because we are afraid to rely on the promise that scripture is powerful enough to change us without a visual image. So we create our own idea of his image and put it on anything and everything. We try to sell Jesus to our neighbor through merchandise, instead of loving our neighbor through ministry.

Why do we try to make any image of him at all? We glorify his physical appearance, yet, scripture says, “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him … as one from whom men hide their faces.” (Isaiah 53:2-3) Why do you think God warns us in his commandments not to make an image of him? He knows that any attempt at doing this would cheapen the true beauty of his veiled image. It is veiled for a reason.

As believers, we should not get upset when the unbelieving culture creates their own image of our Lord. They see our tacky merchandise and the images that we have created and they follow suit. If we had refrained from making false images in the first place, we would not be able to even recognize a false image of Christ on anything. It would be foreign to us and therefore, not offensive.

We judge the unbelieving world’s ideas of what he looked like based on our own Christian culture’s “make believe” image of Christ.

We Are All Zombies

With all that said, I will bring us back around to my friend’s zombie parody of the “Last Supper”. I have never been upset that he has it hanging on his wall. I have always thought about my own guilt and how it is a reflection of our true identity as human beings. When I look at it, I see our total depravity.

All of us are fully corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout our entire being. We are rotten in our body, our mind, and our spirit. We are “dead in our trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1-2) “No one is righteous, no, not one. No one understands; no one seeks after God…no one does good, not even one.” (Romans3:10-12) We are all zombies!

Then lying on the table is Christ, offering himself as the meal. He lays down his life and says,

“I am the bread of life … this is the bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh … unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him … . Do you take offense at this?” (John 6:48-61.)

Thankfully, he doesn’t leave us as zombies. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.“ (Ephesians 2:4-6)

He makes us alive, when we were dead. He takes out our evil hearts and gives us his spirit as a deposit and a guarantee of this promise. He uses legal terminology to secure the hope of his believers and seals the deal with a covenant meal – his own flesh and blood.

Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

Are you offended?

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*Tim here: I took one of those zombie survival quizzes after reading this. How long would I last? “Until the end! – Congrats! You’re a fighter and clearly know what it takes to survive!” Yay me. You can take it here, but there are a couple zombie photos in there so be warned of slight horror pics.

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20 Responses to We Are All Zombies

  1. I love this! I’m not big into the zombie craze as I find most of the stories offer little hope. But, I have been known to enjoy vampires at a time or two, and always explained how much Christianity you could bring out of modern vampires with souls. Why? Even if they are changed from evil to good, they still have to battle against the thirst. I think this is a great analogy to our fight with sin. We are right before God, but still battle our sin day in and day out!
    So thanks for this truth found in the zombie craze! 🙂

    • Dana Tuttle says:

      Thanks! YES, the vampire craze is another great theological essay waiting to happen! I can never figure out why people who are obsessed with vampires don’t naturally gravitate to Christ who offers immortality if you drink his blood. It’s right there in black and white! Haha! You would think they would flock to him! But of coarse we know, there is more to it than that. Thanks again for your thoughts.

      • I’ve done my hand at the vampire thing, but it’s hard to do it without going totally paranormal (read sex) or violent. I often went the violent route. Maybe someday those books will see the light of day and there will be saved vampires fighting the thirst, but for now someone else is will have to do it, but it needs to be done. For now, I’m working on kids books and fairy tales until I perfect my craft. I have always loved a saved vampire, saved by Christ the only Immortal who is immortal not because he was selfish and undead, but cause he rose again. There’s a great story waiting to be told. 🙂

  2. Tim says:

    Dana, thank you so much for letting me post your guest piece here. The imagery of Christ laying himself out on the table so that we might eat and drink and live because of his sacrifice is powerful!

  3. EricaM says:

    I wonder if whoever made that parody was even aware of how much truth they put into it? Anyways, my husband has gotten into the zombie craze, so I think I’ll send this along for his perusal. Thanks for giving me something to ponder this morning, Dana! And thanks for posting this here, Tim!

  4. Jeannie says:

    Once I got past mistakenly reading “Leonardo Di CAPRIO’s Last Supper” rather than Da Vinci’s, 😀 I thought this was a really interesting post — how we market Jesus as a nice trinket or picture and shrink His power. Thanks for this reminder of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us, giving His life so we could live.

    • Dana Tuttle says:

      Haha! That’s funny, Jeannie! I struggle with the idea of critiquing the great Da Vinci. I do realize that artists must express themselves in the form of painting images. I just hate when it get cheapened. Do I wish that the famous greats did not paint Christ? Yes and no. Even they cannot harness the true beauty of our Lord!

  5. StillWiggling says:

    Zombies? They’re a British rock band originating in the 60s, who are currently touring on the east coast after their smashing return engagement on the just-completed 2nd annual Moody Blues Cruise. I can say with some authority that none of them tried to eat anybody’s brains aboard the ship.

  6. Aimee Byrd says:

    Wow, this is creative. I can’t imagine the feelings that looking at that picture would invoke, but I love where you went with it, Dana. It really makes me think about the death in sin as well. In that sense, the parody really is a piece of art, depicting our culture’s darkness and descent because of sin. It would be total despair if we were not clothed in the righteousness of our Savior. However, I surely want to think about where he is now at the right hand of the Father interceding on behalf of his people.
    And now I will be singing the Cranberries all day…

    • Dana Tuttle says:

      “It’s in your head”!:) haha! You know me, I try to pull theology out of everything and a song as well!

  7. Pingback: The Salem Witches Belong To All Of Us | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

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