Summary: The Finale of our Walking Dead Series. A look at what makes a person dead.
Walking Dead, Finale
Well here we are at the end of our series “The Walking Dead”. It was been a seven week journey though Biblical accounts of people who were given their lives back. Sometimes it was simply metaphorically, in the case of the 10 lepers that we looked at on Thanksgiving Sunday. These people weren’t literally dead, but they might as well have been. When they were diagnosed with leprosy they were declared to be dead, they had to leave their homes and their communities. Their spouses were permitted to remarry and their estates were divided amongst their heirs. And so when Jesus spoke, and they were healed they were literally given their lives back. It was like they had been dead, and then they were alive.
But in the rest of the cases we looked at we see those who were literally dead. They had no life in them, the word that was used in the original accounts was Nekros, which was the Greek word for dead, and there was no other meaning.
The title for our series comes from the AMC television series by the same title and the show focuses on a Deputy Sheriff by the name of Rick Grimes who is wounded in a shoot-out and wakes up in a deserted hospital. When he ventures outside he discovers himself in a post-apocalyptic world that is now inhabited with zombie or walkers as they are called in the series. So for three seasons, now into their fourth Grimes and a group of survivors have been fighting the walkers and trying to find the cause of the plague.
We have mentioned several times for those who have been concerned that we might be straying over to the dark side with all this talk of Zombies, these aren’t the zombies of voodoo and witchcraft, more frighteningly is that this was caused by something of this world. And in a world with biological warfare and the jury still out on GMO’s who knows this might be a reality someday.
My personal view is that this is all a nightmare that Rick is having in the hospital, that when he wakes up the world will be normal again and the series will be over.
So with that said, we need to introduce this morning’s message with a spoiler that happened in the last episode of the second season. So if you’ve been working your way through the series and haven’t gotten to the last episode of the second series this would be a good time to put your fingers in your ears and sing, La, la, la, la, la.
Because in that episode Rick finally tells the group what he learned at the CDC, the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta. He says “We’re all infected. At the C.D.C., Jenner told me. Whatever it is, we all carry it.”
Up until that time the survivors felt like they were different than the walkers, that they were safe, but now they realize that there isn’t much that separates them from those they fear.
Sometimes as Christ Followers we separate ourselves from other’s thinking that what makes us different is something within us. There are times that we are guilty of being like the story Jesus told in Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! It’s so easy to get into that “I’m so glad I’m not like those people” mode.
But you see, a dog isn’t a dog because he barks, he barks because he’s a dog. And people aren’t sinners because they sin, they sin because they are sinners. We are told in Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. You see whatever it is, we all carry it. The theologians call it inherent depravity or original sin, but the truth is; we all carry the sin gene.
So let’s go back to the scripture that was read earlier, specifically the fifth verse of Ephesians 2 where we read, Ephesians 2:5 Even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
What does it mean to be dead? What is this death that we talk about? Well it was Alice Thomas Ellis who wrote, “Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright.”
It was Timothy Leary who wrote “How you die is the most important thing you ever do. It’s the exit, the final scene of the glorious epic of your life. It’s the third act and, you know, everything builds up to the third act.” And Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who observed “Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth.”