I love Halloween. It’s a funny sentiment when I think about it. I don’t like scary movies, though I occasionally enjoy the thrill of being scared and scaring others. I’m not particularly fond of demons and evil and such, though I like ghost stories, classic monsters, and witches and wizards. I don’t endorse the pagan rituals associated with the holiday, though I love the candy, costumes, and most of the decorations. Perhaps it’s the change in weather or the shortening of the day? Perhaps it’s because Halloween is the “gateway holiday” to the big ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas? Perhaps it’s the gathering of the harvest and the preparation for the winter? Whatever it is, I love Halloween.
The friendly folks who own and run the rv park at which we’re currently staying recently put up Halloween decorations. There’s a cute inflatable camper with the grim reaper or a skeleton who pokes his head through the door. There’s also posters of a skeleton and a witch on the potty on the doors of the bathrooms. Inside one of the bathrooms, on the mirror, there is a large sticker of a skeleton reaching out to you. Though it’s not that scary, it is the least kid-friendly of the decorations (that I’ve seen here). It was in looking at this image that a thought occurred to me: Why are the dead always trying to attack the living?
The Dead vs. The Living
Zombies, vampires, mummies, ghosts – they all seem to want to harm or kill the living. Why is that? What did the living ever do to them? Maybe it’s that the living are, well, living, and the dead are not? This apparently offends the dead. The dead are evidently hacked off that the living don’t identify as dead – like the dead do. Maybe the dead want everyone to identify as dead, so they try to make everyone dead? Or could it be that in reaching out for the living, the dead just want a hug? They are dead after all, they probably just need a little love and attention. Whatever the reasoning, the dead always seem to come after the living. And despite the utopian love-based thoughts of just wanting a hug, the dead are usually trying to kill you. (Unless, of course, you’re dead. Then the dead seem to leave you alone.)
So what drives the dead to do this? You’ve seen the movies, whenever someone living becomes not living, they then become undead and come after those who are not dead, too. It’s as if there’s something inherent in that dead nature to want to be fruitful and multiply the dead nature. So, the dead want to increase the dead. Apparently, the best way to do this is to go after the living since they are the opposite of dead. Am I making any sense? Are you waiting for the point?
What if that inherent nature, the one to be fruitful and multiply, comes from somewhere else? What if, in the beginning, God wanted creation, more specifically mankind, to live by His life and express His nature? Here’s what I think: I think that the sometimes-fun-but-more-realistic-than-we-know pictures of the dead chasing the living are just manifestations of whats happening in the unseen realm. I believe there’s a dark and sinister hatred among the spiritually dead for the spiritually living, and I believe they desire to keep the living from continuing living. Lemme ‘splain.
When God created, He desired to have an expression of His dominion and authority on the earth. He wanted imagers who would live by His life and rule by His nature. There was, however, a rebellion in the unseen realm. Another spiritual being wanted his nature expressed on the earth. This being succeeded in tempting mankind to disobey God and reject His nature: a nature of love and life. Mankind therefore chose to live by the nature of this other spiritual being: a nature of rebellion and death. And since that fateful choice, mankind has tried to in vain to please God by its own efforts. But God would not have that mixture. He is pure life; He cannot abide death.
Since then, God has been calling out a chosen race unto Himself to live by His life and nature. He called Abraham unto Himself. He called an entire nation from Abraham, the Hebrews, unto Himself. From the Hebrews, Israel, He sent and called His own Son, Jesus. From Jesus, He calls the Church. The Church are a people fitted together to be God’s expression on the earth. The Church are a people who choose to live by the indwelling life of the Son, Jesus Christ. The Church are a people who are spiritually living. And that other spiritual being is constantly against the spiritually living.
The spiritually dead hate the spiritually living. Why? Because the spiritually living operate from a different source than the spiritually dead do. The spiritually living operate from the very life of God. Since the spiritually dead hate God (they rebelled, remember?), they hate all that live by God’s life and express His nature. Unfortunately, it’s not as blatant a warfare as we’d like, unlike how the dead come out and physically attack the living in the movies. Sometimes we can see and easily recognize the blatant attack, but often times it is covert and subtle. It’s in the little things, and before we know it, we can be caught up in the warfare and beat down. However, all we have to do is turn back to The Living God. He’s there, and He’s always ready to accept us back. We turn to Him, we call on Jesus, and He answers. His life is readily available and accessible.
So, the next time you feel a little beaten, a little down, a little like death is creeping around you, turn to Jesus. Call on His name. Call on the Victorious Life that indwells believers, and know that the dead shall never prevail over the Living.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-16a
All the photographs for this post were taken by my budding photographer son, Isaac. 🙂