Halloween Special. Jesus. A zombie right?

by . Originally posted

Following a conversation on Facebook today (Halloween), I thought I’d write a quick article on two of the main things in my life (except coffee), Jesus and zombies.

I became a fan of zombie films many years ago, while a Christian only about 4 years back. I know a bit about both but would definitely not class myself a master or ‘know it all’ of either.

Now if I was bothered (and stupid), I could group my friends into just two groups: Christians and non Christians. This time of year, Halloween, is definitely one of those times when taking a step back from Facebook/Twitter (etc) you can see the divide between these groups understandably widen.

One question that I’ve seen come up countless of times around Halloween is:

How can Christians disagree with Halloween when Jesus was a zombie?


Jesus died and came back… so do zombies!

Now it is true that Jesus was risen from the dead but that isn’t the ONLY thing that makes a zombie a zombie. Thankfully it also isn’t the only thing Jesus did after his death. So examining the similarities between them, and in the style of Loyd Grossman, “lets look at the clues”.

What defines a zombie:

Now there isn’t a perfect, water tight, definition of a zombie. This is probably down to the fact that none have never existed, but I don’t think that type of defense stands up in a court of law. So after many years of reading and watching zombie themed literature, here’s MY summary of zombies and whether Jesus was one.

Characteristic 1. They were bitten! (Gassed / Contaminated / Nuked)

Zombies: Usually the reason for a zombie outbreak is made clear, other times it’s more of a throw away statement, but rarely do authors/directors pass up on this fact altogether. Obviously all zombies pass this infection on to fellow humans by producing an infected yet not necessarily lethal wound.

Jesus: Ok I’ll admit I haven’t read the Bible cover to cover, but I’m fairly certain it doesn’t mention ‘clouds of contaminate material’ anywhere, (actually it might in Revelations, but that’s an apocalypse predicting book, not applicable to the times of big J). It definitely doesn’t mention any nuclear war or falling satellites (sorry Romero fans). This leaves us with the more obvious one, bites! unfortunately this is never the true ‘reason’ for a zombie outbreak, the virus or pathogen must have arisen from somewhere. Alas it also doesn’t mention in the Bible Jesus being bitten; it mentions people spitting on him, spearing him and brandishing swords in his face, but never once being bitten.

Characteristic 2. They were dead. Now they’re.. eh… not…

Zombies: This one is fairly obvious. Sometimes the disease helped kill you, more often than not the wound or exsanguination would be the cause of death, with the virus just taking effect once you’ve died. Time periods before people became a zombie vary greatly, although its usually within minutes or hours. They rise from where they fell (or were carried too, i.e. hospitals) and immediately show the full symptoms of ‘zombification’.

Jesus: There is no doubt Jesus did die. He was on public display, surrounded by a hostile crowd, under the eye of Roman guards. As was custom for the guards, to hasten the dying process they would break the legs of the crucified victims.

[John 19:38] But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

[39] Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

The guards were trained executioners, who in turn would have been killed for not fulfilling their orders, so we can fairly safely assume they would be sure if Jesus’ was “faking it”. They examined him and pieced his side. He did not react. He was dead.

Scene from Passion of the Christ

A scene from Passion of the Christ. Depicting Jesus' crucifixion

Taken away by Joseph of Arimathea and placed in a tomb, the Pharisees were scared of Jesus’ body being stolen (a whole blog article in itself) so put armed guards around it. However instead of saying Jesus’ recovered we’re told several different times that:

[Matthew 28:7] He (Jesus) has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee

So there we have it… He was definitely dead… yet definitely later risen back alive. Interesting start.

Characteristic 3. All zombies do is moan moan moan

Zombies: A little play on words there for you. Zombie’s have no vocal or communicable ability. Probably due to severe brain degradation, non-functional diaphragms and a degrading larynx… speech never occurs. This loss of speech, or an unwillingness to communicate perhaps, is present from the moment the individual turns.

Jesus: Now this guy does talk, in fact he talks a lot to a considerable amount of people! He didn’t just have a quiet word with a few people, people who may have mistaken his deathly moans for words, he clearly communicated with them. Jesus says to two men on a road to Emmaus:

[Luke 24:25] “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

[26] Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”

So not only does he clearly still have the ability to form coherent sentences, He then goes on to teach the men He’s with:

[27] And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Characteristic 4. They eat people! Eeeewwww

Still hungry?

Zombies: I don’t think this needs much explaining… zombies have one main desire in life and that is to consume lots of yummy human flesh. They prefer it rare and very rarely ask it to be anything else. Perhaps a gory picture will do much more than my explanation would.

Jesus: Now I have read the four gospels and they clearly reframe from talking about the resurrected Jesus trying to consume his disciples, or in fact anyone. In fact if this had happened I’m sure they would have mentioned He’d come back ‘considerable different’.

It turns out though that Jesus still had an appetite for real food:

[Luke 24:42] “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish,

[43] and he took it and ate it in their presence.

So no desire to consume human flesh, quite an un-zombie statement in fact. All historical evidence also suggest that no contagious ‘zombie-like’ contagions broke out either. (It must be pointed out I haven’t read ALL historical documents)

Characteristic 5. They instill fear amongst the living

Zombies: In all zombie literature, once the concept of zombies walking amongst member of society has been established, society immediately breaks down into what is politically called something like ‘civil unrest on a grand scale‘. People scatter, military units are called in if available and large deaths rack up quickly. This is assuming that the zombies don’t ‘win’, in which case we wouldn’t be here 2000 years later anyway.

Jesus: Woah woah woah… but check this out… as Jesus stood amongst His disciplines:

[Luke 24:37] They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost…

Perhaps Luke was just dumbing down the language and feelings. Perhaps they were terrified and fled soon afterwards? Unfortunately for zombie fans, the scripture then goes on to recite the conversations and events between Jesus and disciples. He even tells them to touch His skin and wounds, so that they know they’re not hallucinating. Even later still He goes fishing with them. Not really sounding like they’re even socially awkward with him, let alone fleeing in fear. Hardly sounding very zombie like.


Summary. So was Jesus a zombie?

Fortunately for salvation (unfortunate for Hollywood directors) the only thing Jesus and zombies really have in common is the fact both of them died and then became vertical again. From literature Jesus doesn’t show any signs of being infected, has cognitive and communicable skills unseen in any zombie literature, doesn’t produce any long-lasting fear… and perhaps most importantly… eats fish! doesn’t attempt to eat anyone.

In my eyes… case closed 🙂


Hope you’ve enjoyed my tongue in cheek post, drop me a comment and God bless.


Categories: Christianity, Zombie

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