WINTER CAMP 2.0
Angels, Zombies, Heaven and Hell: Why are humans so interested with life after death?
From ancient Egypt to the modern Church of Scientology and for all of known history, people have been investigating what happens after we die. This trend has by no means died out either (pun intended); in 2016, the two most popular television shows were Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, both of which consider the idea of zombies and the ‘undead’.
So where do the ideas of angels, zombies, heaven and hell come from? And does our obsession with these concepts actually mean anything?
In Ecclesiastes 3 the wise ‘teacher’ (a central character in the book) notices that God has “set eternity in the human heart”, possibly explaining how almost every society in history has had an obvious connection with spiritual ideas. The teacher from Ecclesiastes even concludes that everything on this Earth is meaningless if we forget our Creator (Ch 12).
So why would eternity and God be so important that they make everything else meaningless in comparison?
In Genesis 2-3 we see Adam and Eve, the first humans, created to live in an intimate relationship with their Creator. It is only when they disobey Him that they are driven away and separated from this relationship – the ultimate penalty. Time and time again throughout the Bible, people turn away from God’s answers to the heart’s questions of eternity and explore other religions or their own ambitions. Each time this happens, these people are driven further away from goodness and truth.
That’s where Jesus comes into the picture. In John 13-14 Jesus tells his disciples that he will soon be killed, but also promises that those who follow Him, will have a place in his ‘Father’s house’ even after death. When asked how to reach this heavenly ‘house’, Jesus provides the ultimate answer to ‘what happens when we die’ when he says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
So why do humans obsess over life after death? Since our relationship with the eternal God has been destroyed by our sin, He has put a desire in our hearts to be re-united once again with Him.
What does this obsession mean for me? Stories of Zombies and battles between angels and demons are interesting for sure, but all of these are just symptoms of a bigger plan – a rescue plan promised by Jesus to bring us back to our perfect relationship with God, our creator.
What will you do about your eternity?