Summary: This message is about how we are to be dead to sin because Jesus died for our sins forever delivering us from its power.
The Walking Dead
When Jesus took His last breath, this is what is recorded in Matthew 27:52-53 says, “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” We do not have a lot of detail about this event (who these saints were, what they said and how long were they present in Jerusalem), but what we do know is that when Jesus died the earth shook and many of the saints who were dead came back to life and appeared to many in Jerusalem.
The title of my message this morning is “The Walking Dead.” I am not attempting to scare you but I believe on this Easter morning that we should understand that everyone on this earth is walking dead because we are either dead to Christ or dead to sin and my friends there is a difference. I want us to grasp the fullness of what it means to be a dead man/woman walking. For several weeks I shared with you the importance of the Word of God in dealing with our enemy. I have shared with you that the Word empowers us and gives us the ability to withstand all attacks while also enabling us to change the world around us. While some may believe that we cannot be dead to sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I want to show you the truth through the Word of God.
How many of you recall the story of the dry bone as recorded in the thirty-seventh chapter of the book of Ezekiel? In that chapter God gave to Ezekiel a prophesy pertaining to the political and spiritual revival of his nation. The dry bones represented an army slain in battle which was a very good description of the hopeless condition of Israel at that time. I would like for you to just consider for a moment what happened with these bones. God asked Ezekiel if those bones could live. After Ezekiel answered Him, God told Ezekiel to prophesy (preach) to those bones. Ezekiel prophesied to those bones and the bones began to affix themselves back together as they were supposed to be. Then the sinews were added followed by the flesh and the skin. Then God had Ezekiel prophesy to the breath and the breath returned to those bones and the once dry bones came to life. In this prophesy the dead came back to life and walked again. What I want you to see from this story is the simple fact that it was the Word of God that brought those dead, dry bones back to life. Ezekiel 37:14 says, “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it, declares the LORD.” While this prophesy pertains to the political and spiritual renewal of the Children of Israel, I believe this also takes place in the lives of everyone who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Turn to Luke chapter nine.
Luke chapter nine mentions a man that Jesus asked to follow him but the man was not ready to commit at that moment. I want you to see how Jesus responded to the man’s request to delay his “calling.” Look at verses fifty-nine and sixty. It says, “And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60) How many of you know that being excited about something does not mean that you are committed to it? Excitement last while things are new and going well. However, the excitement died when things get tough and work needs to be done. Have you ever started something new and you were all in initially but as time went on the initial excitement gave way to the routine, then to boredom, then to dissatisfaction and finally to no interest at all? Have you experienced these before? When we lose interest in something we stop caring about “how” we perform our tasks and “if” others perform theirs. There is a difference between being excited about something and being committed to it.
In verses fifty-nine and sixty, Jesus asked a man to follow Him. The man asked Jesus to allow him to go and bury his father and then he would commit to follow Him. I do not want you to misunderstand what this man was requesting and why Jesus responded the way that He did. The man’s father was not dead at this time; he was very much alive. This man was asking Jesus to allow him to stay at home with his father because he was obligated to take care of his father until he died. So even though Jesus was calling Him, he was not ready. Focus now on Jesus’ response to this man’s request to be allowed to stay with his father until he died. Jesus told the man to “Allow the dead to bury their dead.” How is it possible that someone who is dead can actually bury their dead? Jesus was not speaking of physical death, but spiritual death. He was saying to let those who were spiritually dead bury those who died physically. This is an example of the first type of the walking dead. People who do not have Jesus in their life are walking dead – they are dead spiritually even though they are living physically. These individuals will experience the two deaths that the Bible speaks of; a physical death on this earth followed by an eternal separation from God in the lake of fire, the second death. Anyone who has not accepted Christ as their personal Savior is a dead man walking; they just do not realize it. It is our job as Christians to bring life to those who are spiritually dead, but we must be alive first! We can speak life into them through the Word of God if the Word is alive within us. This is why Jesus chose to die on the cross, so that all could be saved through His death. The first walking dead are those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. If we are doing our jobs as Christians, we are attempting to save the life of someone who is spiritually dead and that leads to the second type of the walking dead; those who have accepted Christ and are dead to sin.