A couple of days ago, I overheard some people calling Easter “Zombie Jesus Day“. I’m surprised that this is my first time hearing it because it has apparently been around since 1999, gaining popularity after the mid-2000s. Easter is the celebration of when Jesus died and was resurrected, “just like a zombie“. Except it was nothing like a zombie.
The Easter Story
Adam’s sin in the very beginning had brought sin into the world. The penalty of sin is death, and because God is just, something has to die because of that sin. In the Old Testament times, because God is merciful, instead of striking people dead right when they sin as they would have otherwise deserved, God had commanded animal sacrifices through sin offerings to act as a covering for sin. The first sacrifice illustrates that:after Adam and Eve’s sin, they became aware of their nakedness and were ashamed. God made them clothes of skin to cover their nakedness, which would have required a sacrifice, and this act represents the covering of their sins.
People in the Old Testament times had to keep sacrificing animals because the sacrifice only covered their sin; it didn’t cleanse them of it. These sacrifices were intended to show us that we need someone to save us from our sins, and it was foreshadowing what was to come. God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to walk among us as a sinless man to serve as the ultimate sacrifice.
It didn’t stop there, though. Jesus promised us eternal life, and to show that He was the master of life and could really give it, He was resurrected. He was resurrected, appeared to His disciples, walked with them, and even ate with them.
There are two notable versions of zombies: the original Haitian folklore zombie, and the modern pop culture zombie. In both versions, zombies are reanimated dead bodies. The reanimation is done through black voodoo magic or other supernatural forces (Haitian zombies), or through some science fictional method like exposure to radiation (modern zombies). Zombies are said to have limited physical function and intelligence as a consequence of being undead. Modern zombies are said to feel no pain and have no need of organs, with one exception: they have a fixation on eating your brain as they need brains to stay “alive”.
Was Jesus a Zombie?
No. not at all. The only similarity between the two is a resurrection by supernatural means, but even that is quite different: zombies can only be resurrected by someone else; Jesus resurrected Himself. Furthermore, Jesus’ resurrected body was not degraded like a zombie’s, but actually enhanced. For example, He was able to enter closed rooms, first His sealed tomb, and later a room with a locked door. More importantly, zombies are centered around death; Jesus is centered around life.
Can Easter be called “Zombie Jesus Day”?
Given that Jesus did not become a zombie, it follows that Resurrection Sunday cannot be called “Zombie Jesus Day”. Not only is calling Easter “Zombie Jesus Day” incorrect, it’s basically name-calling: it belittles and mocks the act through which you and I can be saved.
So this Easter, let’s not celebrate it as Zombie Jesus Day. Let’s celebrate it for what it really is: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.