What’s with the obsession with a Zombie Apocalypse? People will dress up like zombies (the walking dead, in case you aren’t familiar with the term) and party it up, usually at Halloween time. If you’re dressing up like a zombie, the more grotesque you can be, the better… This includes lots of blood, falling off body parts, and rotting flesh. Some people even take this theory to an extreme and believe that it will come to pass and are preparing for it. Actually, there is truth to this concept of a ‘zombie apocalypse’, but there are two types of ‘zombies’ that we’ll talk about from the Bible.
I’ll identify them as ‘zombies’ in the following because of the world’s terminology; however, the definition of an actual zombie doesn’t fit, but it will be our reference term in these examples.
We see our first set of ‘zombies’ in the book of Matthew as soon as Jesus gave up His spirit and died on the cross. What happened after His death is shocking, to say the least.
“ The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. ” Matthew 27:52-53
Graves were opened, the dead came to life, and the ‘zombies’ went into the middle of busy Jerusalem. My guess is that as they ‘appeared to many’ might refer to the fact that they appeared to those who would have known them and known that they were dead and so would have been in shock to see the ‘dead’ walking and talking; however, we know that they didn’t look like the traditional ‘zombies’ that we hear about, but rather their bodies had been changed into the new, incorruptible bodies that Jesus promises to all those who put their hope and trust in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. Before we talk about those bodies, let’s verify that Jesus was the first to be put in the grave and then to rise again with His new body, as verified by over 500 individuals.
“3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me [Paul]. ” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
So, since Christ, the head, is the first to be raised in His new body, most assuredly, He will also raise us, the body, from the dead as well and will give us these new bodies. Let’s review His promises.
“12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-23
“35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”” 1 Corinthians 15:35
“42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man [Jesus] is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:42-53
We can be confident that just as Jesus died and was raised from the dead with a new body, we will also receive this same, imperishable body upon His return to the earth, so our bodies will be glorified, ‘zombies.’
However, we see another type of zombie at the final judgement of God. For those who do not put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, they too will receive an everlasting body; however, this body will be thrown into a lake a fire, and so will feel the pain and torment for all eternity. I don’t know about you, but being this type of zombie is not the type of body that I want for the future! I imagine this is our culture’s view of the ‘zombie,’ all grotesque and distorted.
“11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
“46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46
Father God, As our bodies get worn out in this life, thank you that you promise a new, perfect body in our new life. We look forward to when you return with our new bodies that will no longer get worn out, and will no longer suffer sickness, pain, and death. We trust in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, for this new life!
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:1-5