Summary: A message showing how all those who are not born again are the walking dead (referencing the TV show)
The Walking Dead
CCCAG March 11th, 2018
Scripture- John 3:1-8
Some of you might be wondering about the title of the message this morning. Let me explain a little.
As I was preparing this week I had hundreds of thoughts about how to handle the third chapter of the Gospel of John being that is, in my opinion, the most important chapter in the bible. There are so many angles and so many truths to unpack here that I have dozens of things to say, but I needed a way to slow down and somehow frame and set up this exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus.
As I was thinking about this, I saw a commercial pop on my computer for the TV show, “The Walking Dead” and bam, the message for today began to take shape. I struggled a bit with naming the message this because the show is a bit provocative.
If you have never heard of the show- good. I would not encourage anyone to watch it because it’s pretty gross and in the genre of horror and would probably give most people nightmares. Stick with me for a moment as I explain the premise of this show and it will become clear why I chose this way to frame this conversation in John 3.
Essentially the premise of the show is a virus has swept over the entire planet and has killed most people and then turned them into flesh eating zombies. Those who are still alive are in a constant state of survival- having to deal both the zombies which outnumber them 100-1 and the other remaining humans- many of which have turned very evil. Not only that, but the zombie virus has actually infected everyone, so even if you are a good person, when you die you transform into one of the zombies.
Hence the title- the Walking Dead. It doesn’t refer to the Zombies, but to the people who are still alive because this virus waiting for them to get sick or die to transform them into a mindless killing machine.
A little disclaimer- Part of the challenge of preaching from a source that is over 2000 years old, speaks to a culture that is foreign to us is making it relevant to our culture today and drawing parallels that make sense to a modern mind without watering it down or changing it’s meaning, so please don’t think my using this example is in anyway an endorsement or stamp of approval to watching such programs, but helping those who have grown up watching such things make connections between biblical truth and how we think today.
As I sat there thinking about the parallels between what I know of that show and reality, and then thought about the scripture for this week I realized that that was the central point of what Nicodemus was struggling with and why he came to meet Jesus.
Nicodemus felt like a dead man walking and was in fact- the Walking Dead.
Keep that in mind as we read the scripture for this week-
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Let’s take a moment and ask God’s blessing and Favor on our time-Prayer
There are several things about Nicodemus that I want to explore this morning. The first thing is something I already mentioned-
I. Nicodemus is the Walking Dead
Why would I call a faithful priest, a pastor to his community and one of the most holy men around a dead man walking?
There are a several reasons why this is true, and it all has to do with him trusting in the wrong things to make him pleasing to God.
A. #1- HE is trusting in his heritage.
Like all good Hebrew priests of his day, Nicodemus is a direct descendant of Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob and born into the family line of Levi. He could quote his lineage by memory if asked and that proved that he deserved a high place in society of being a priest.