God created zombies. Read the account of the Jesus’ death on the cross in Matthew 27, if you don’t believe me. The moment Jesus died, there was an earthquake, the veil in the Temple was torn, the sky was dark for three hours, and the dead came to life. Zombies, reanimated by God.
Even weirder, they apparently didn’t go anywhere until Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead. Only then did they go into Jerusalem. I am not sure what they did until then. Or afterwards. Two stories pop into my mind when I consider this, and honestly neither one seems very much like the God I know:
Obadiah visits the tomb of his wife Elizabeth with his son Daniel on Saturday, three years after her unexpected death. They arrive to see the tomb open and their loved one’s ossuary empty. Just as the panic begins to mount, Elizabeth walks in. “I’ve missed you two,” she says as tears come to her eyes. A joyous and confused family reunion takes place, and then the questions begin. Elizabeth has no answers, so they enjoy the time they have together, all the while wondering why it happened and when it will end.
It’s the morning after the Sabbath and Joel is tired. His weary old bones don’t have much life left in them, but he is going to finish strong. He is opening the doors to his store when his old friend Ebenezer slaps him on the back. “How have you been, Joel? Holding up well without me, I hope?” “Eb, you’re……you’re dead!” “Not today I’m not!” Joel falls to the ground, clutching his chest. Before the son sets, Joel is laid to rest in his tomb, a stone’s throw away from where his lifelong friend Eb was (used to be) buried.
Christians love the idea of God as Creator. Every time we witness an amazing sunset, we can think to ourselves, “My God painted that.” When we visit an aquarium, we can marvel at the seemingly endless supply of creativity our Father in heaven possesses. But God creating zombies? That just doesn’t seem right? It just doesn’t seem godly for God to do something like that.
You would be surprised at how often God does things in the Bible that just aren’t right. For example, Jesus the peacekeeper told His disciples to bring swords to the Garden of Gethsemane. Seems out of character, doesn’t it? Jesus is the lover of my soul, not an army commander. Don’t worry, it gets weirder.
A few hours later, Peter uses a sword to slice an ear off a guard. Jesus heals the guy’s ear! Wait, we can carry the swords, but if we use them you will heal our enemies? Jesus seems a bit contrarian or confused here, not the stalwart level-headed Savior we all know and love.
We came across both these moments as a family when we read the Easter story this week. God just wasn’t “acting like Himself” for Easter, it seems. I came to a surprising conclusion—it’s time for me to stop putting God in a box based on the vague memories I have of the Bible plus the sermons I’ve heard. It’s time for me to open the Bible and let God speak for Himself.
When is the last time you read about God doing something that seemed out of character?