It seems that we – meaning the collective American Culture – are in love with horror stories. This is nothing new; America has been scaring herself since the days of Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving. In the 1970s, our love of being frightened reached new heights with a movie that left many teenagers (and adults, too) sleepless for nights. That movie, The Exorcist, seemed very real to this 12 year old boy. Today, more blood and gore appear on our TV screens and phones than ever previously dreamed of. Vampires and ghosts are passé. Zombies, pandemics, and alien invasions are fashionable. Why this fascination with the death and the dead?
While I am no psychologist, I would guess that much of the appeal comes from the fact that the horror genre is so black and white (even the post-apocalyptic stories that are so popular right now). Safety is generally found only within your camp. Danger is everywhere. And, no one may be trusted outside your own people. Evil is easily identifiable as an alien, a plague, or the walking dead.
I spent too much of my life as a dead man, at least as the Apostle Paul describes it. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV), he says this about life and death:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
So what does it mean that old things have passed away or died, and that all things have become new or reborn. Paul explains this further in Romans 6:4, when he says “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (NKJV).
First it means that we are no longer enslaved by sin. Think about the one temptation that you could never resist. Ponder the one thing that you could never overcome, no matter how bad it was for you, no matter how much harm it caused. When you are in Christ, it is no longer a temptation, because the old has passed away.
Remember how selfish you once were? How you were all about “ME,” “ME,” “ME?” When you surrender your life to Christ, you begin to care for Christ and others, and you care far less about yourself. All things become new. It is Christ for whom you live, and you express His perfect love in your love for others.
Yes, one day we will be transformed, in the twinkling of an eye, and we will receive a new body. Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth, but we don’t have to wait for that, for He has made in us a new heart – or He will, if you put your life in His hands.
After I became Christ’s, I was no longer dead, no longer a spiritual zombie, and sin no longer bound me. I was alive. I was free – I am free.
Through you the blind will see
Through you the mute will sing
Through you the dead will rise
Through you all hearts will praise
Through you the darkness flees
Through you my heart screams
I am free
Yes, I am free
I AM FREE TO RUN
(I AM FREE TO RUN)
I AM FREE TO DANCE
(I AM FREE TO DANCE)
I AM FREE TO LIVE FOR YOU
(I AM FREE TO LIVE FOR YOU)
I AM FREE
(I AM FREE)
YES I AM FREE
(I AM FREE)
FURLER PETER ANDREW, EGAN, JONATHAN CHRISTIAN