The Most Overlooked Part of the Easter Narrative

ZOMBIES!!!! We all know the Zombie Jesus story, but a whole crapload of dead people were reanimated just after Jesus H. kicked the can. They took two days fighting their way out of their tombs before running amok within Jerusalem. It’s right there in Matthew 27.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Zombie mini-apocalypses must happen often enough in that part of the world that they’re not even worth recording. Come on! No one else even mentions it! I gotta hand it to whoever wrote the book of Matthew for having the foresight to include this enlightening event in the most infallible book ever written. If it hadn’t been for him, we’d only have one zombie stumbling around on Easter Sunday.

We’re not given a lot here, so let’s see if I got this straight.

Friday.

  • Jesus yells and dies
  • An atomic bomb of Jesus Juice rips through Jerusalem, causing an earthquake and a fucking curtain to be torn. OH. MY. GOD.
  • Zombies with halos wake up and start scratching at the walls of their damaged tombs

Saturday.

  • Zombies still trying to get out
  • Those that are out are wreaking havoc en route to Jerusalem
  • No one can repel zombies because it’s the fucking Sabbath

Sunday.

  • Ta-da! Zombie Jesus is back playing hide-and-seek and cooking fish at a campfire
  • Hordes of zombies, awake since Friday and undoubtedly hungry, finally descend upon Jerusalem

It took most of those zombies two days stuck inside their half smashed tombs before they could get out. Two days! While Jesus is out on holiday playing the last level of Doom III, a whole bunch of generally nice undead are stuck inside their graves scratching and moaning and breaking fingernails just trying to get a breath of fresh air. And brains.

This couldn’t have gone unnoticed. There have got to be a bunch of freaked out caretakers scared shitless because half their crop is trying to escape through damaged tombs. Did it make any difference that these zombies were holier than others? My guess is no. By the way, how could they even be holy if they haven’t accepted Jesus as their own personal savior? Something is amiss.

Back to the point. It’s Friday and you’re a caretaker of one of these graveyards. You’ve got a ton of cleanup to do after the earthquake and to make matters worse, a bunch of smug, holier-than-thou zombies are further damaging your tombs in their escape efforts. What do you do? Shit, they didn’t even have shotguns back then! I, for one, know when to get the hell out of town. I’d high-tail it out of Jerusalem, shrieking like a little girl all the way.

But, I have to assume that the general population of Jerusalem was more manly than me. These people get so pissed off at little things like someone having to work on the weekend, that they’ll fucking throw stones at you UNTIL YOU DIE. No, these people didn’t run. The caretakers are dutifully stuck to their job cleaning up the mess wrought by the explosion of the atomic J-bomb.

I don’t know how they’re defending against the zombies. We do know that none of the undead made it to the city until Sunday, so the graveyard workers must have been doing something right. My guess is they were busy throwing rocks like they were correcting a crowd of gays. It probably works pretty well for a while. These Jews have good throwing arms. But it can’t last long. They soon have a little bullshit called Sabbath that they can’t get around.

Good, observant Jews can only repel the undead until sundown on Friday night and then they have to twiddle their thumbs for a whole day, praying that the zombies are as holy as they say they are. Holy enough to remember the Sabbath.

What happens on Saturday is anyone’s guess. From my experience, the undead don’t have much concept of time. They’ve been underground or in caves for weeks and months, rotting and decomposing. How are they going to know what day it is when they wake up? I don’t want to question their dedication to their religion, but I’m guessing they don’t give a shit about this particular Sabbath. I bet they kept on clawing through the rubble of their broken tombs and digging out of their graves. It’s the caretakers of the graveyards I’m concerned with.

It seems they’ve got two options: Do you sit around on Saturday as instructed by the big guy, all the while glancing furtively out the windows across the yard to make sure the undead are still underground? Or do you risk breaking the Sabbath by either repelling zombies or running like hell? I’m assuming, of course, that it is considered work to kill the undead. I have no proof of this. These poor saps are backed into a corner. It’s either death by zombie or death by zealous law abiding Jew. I sympathize with these guys. I really do. Jesus had a bad weekend. These guys lived through hell and couldn’t do anything about it.

Again, we’re left with scant information. We’ve only got two verses of absolute truth to deal with, and we’ve got to fill in the blanks. The main fact is this: zombies are slow. We have to calculate the time it took for them to stumble out of their burial sites to the epicenter of Jerusalem on Sunday, where they “appear” to “many” people. We all know what that means. Zombie fucking apocalypse, man.

I suck at this type of calculation, so I’m going to have to rely on divine inspiration. I wouldn’t be writing this shit if God wasn’t speaking to me, now would I? Here’s what happened. A lot of those caretakers took the high road and observed the Sabbath. They died. A few more ran like hell. They died too. The first rule about Sabbath is that you don’t fucking run on Sabbath. Zombies get a pass. They shuffle.

The rest of the caretakers? Those that could tell their story? They climbed trees or roofs on Friday night and sat shivering in the cold until Sabbath was over. Zombies can’t climb trees. A lot of those guys lost family. They must have felt like Noah, who was ridiculed for building a boat when there was no water. They were laughed at for high-tailing it up trees, only to see their mockers overcome by a slow-moving wave of brain-eating zombies. Holy and generally considerate brain-eating zombies, but there you have it.

Sunday morning must have revealed a massacre, but it’s overshadowed by Zombie Jesus’ game of hide-and-seek. The passage is so focused on that particular zombie that they completely forget to mention the destruction wrought by the roving gangs of holy undead. Instead, they soften the blow by saying, oh, those brain-devouring hordes were just “appearing to many people.” Such an understatement.

We’ll never know the death toll that weekend. We’ll never know what happened to these holy zombies. Did they start their own religion and eventually float into the stratosphere like Zombie Jesus? Did they get wiped out by a bunch of zealots throwing stones? Will they accept Zombie Jesus as their own personal savior so they won’t have to go to hell again? Did they reintegrate into their previous holy life as if nothing had happened, as if such a thing were possible? We’ll never know.

This Easter, don’t get caught up in all the hubbub about eggs and crucifixions. Remember those who took a stand against the undead. Those who weren’t afraid to back down from reanimated corpses, except for, well, a short time while they hid in trees. Sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes you have to run. And sometimes, the best thing you can do is to hide your ass from zombies and zealots. It’s about survival, people. Protect yourself from brain-devouring zombies. Especially Jesus.

50 thoughts on “The Most Overlooked Part of the Easter Narrative

  1. ” . . . the bodies of many holy people who had died . . .”

    Holy Zombies Batman!

    Brilliant.

  2. That is some seriously funny shit. Kuddos! and Happy Zombie Day!

    “My guess is they were busy throwing rocks like they were correcting a crowd of gays.”

    Priceless.

  3. I might add that the sun was in eclipse, in addition to the earthquake,Zombies, and the torn curtain. Never could find any corroborating reports. :-)

  4. I think you’re committing a basic error here by making an unwarranted assumption. Excusable because of the portrayal of zombie uprisings in recent artistic works, cinema and books etc. The truth is we have very little factual documentation of zombie uprisings.

    You note that no-one else mentions the zombies wandering Jerusalem. Obviously this has to be because it was simply a non-event! The message I believe we should all take from Mathew is that zombies are not the mindless brain-devouring creatures they’ve been cast as.

    I rather think that the weekend went down more like this …

    Friday:

    The undead awake. As you can imagine it takes them some time to get to grips with their current situation. There is a fair amount of wailing and undoubtedly some climb back into the

    Saturday:

    After a decent lie-in (it *is* the weekend) they wander round the catacombs for a bit meeting up with old friends, remarking how much weight they’ve all lost and so on.

    Sunday:

    Armed with the sale papers it’s time to hit the mall.

    Monday:

    Join the Republican party.

  5. any thoughts on whether the righteous zombies would be allowed to eat brains? i mean, are brains kosher?

  6. The Roman garrisons could probably defend themselves if they were not taken by surprise, unless swords and spears got stuck in zombie bodies, then they’re toast.

  7. Why is it that every time a skeptic writes something like this to mock Christians, they always end up looking ignorant and foolish? You’re not clever, okay? Or funny.

  8. Jinx McHue,

    Christians insist on the infallibility of a book which claims mass resurrections, inter multa alia. Skeptics point out that there is not one corroborating report of this unprecedented and alarming event which is counter to our all knowledge of the real world.

    I think it’s fairly clear who looks “ignorant and foolish”.

  9. garry writes:

    any thoughts on whether the righteous zombies would be allowed to eat brains? i mean, are brains kosher?

    Only those of people who have cloven hooves and chew their cud. (Cow-devil-people?)

  10. This is BRILLIANT! I just discovered your blog through PZ, but I’ll be a regular here from now on.

  11. Awesome post! However, I feel the need to point out that an important chunk of it is based on a false premise. It is in fact permissible in Judaism to break the sabbath (or virtually any other negative commandment) in order to save a life. So I think that just about any rabbi would agree that you are allowed to repel zombies on the sabbath.

  12. Great post, nogodsallowed. Hilarious and creative.

    And Unaspammer makes a good point: even the most devout Jew would be allowed to slay the undead while observing the Sabbath.

  13. Great stuff. Of course Zombie Jesus wouldn’t eat folks — ’cause he wants folks to eat HIM instead, yes?

  14. The resurrection is crazy stuff, but it can still be trusted as a true event. Jesus was a historical person who taught, did miracles, died, and rose from the dead. This is undeniably historically accurate.
    For more info: http://www.xenos.org/classes/papers/doubt.htm

    We think as we do because of the inclination of our hearts. “We believe in order to reason”. So I will pray to God, the God who loves you in spite of the way you have jeered His name, that He will change your heart.

  15. I would like to point out the painfully overlooked case of Lazarus! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and there is no account of what Lazarus’ quality of life or “undeadness” once resurrected. Whether or not he was living, zombie, or vampire is not told to us, and therefore I would theorize that resurrections related to Jesus are equivalent to natural life and not “undeadness”.

  16. youve inspired me

    my new easter tradition is going to be

    every year

    at midnight

    watching 28 days later

  17. PJ, this is a great piece. But do you really need the expletives? your pieces are great texts for debunking the biblical mythology and would be ideal to read to my grandchildren. Not unless you clean up though. At the risk of being thought a prude (I’m not), I’d suggest the “fuck”s etc. actually demean your arguments. Keep fighting the good fight though!

  18. I’m also certain that reasonable Rabbis would allow some types of work to be done on the Sabbath if it is in self-defense or to preserve as much of mankind as possible in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
    There must already rules in place to deal with other emergencies, like accidents, medical conditions, natural disasters, etc.

    Still, it’s a nice discussion of the issue, even though it’s based on a false assumption. Btw, there is no hell in Judaism.

  19. http://www.icr.org/bible/Matthew/27/51-54/

    [snip]

    Defender’s Bible Notes

    Matthew 27:51
    27:51 veil of the temple. This veil was a heavy curtain separating the Holy Place in the temple from the Holy of Holies, behind which the glory of God met with the high priest just once each year on the Day of Atonement. For it to be torn in two, especially from top to bottom, even in an earthquake, would seem to require a miracle, possibly by an unseen angelic hand. Symbolically, this tearing of the veil would mean that Christ had now opened the way for all to enter directly into the
    presence of God. We now may have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20).

    Matthew 27:52
    27:52 saints which slept arose. Not only had “the light of the world gone out” but also the earth’s great foundation Rock had been smitten (Exodus 17:6). The veil had been rent and the graves of the saints were opened. The saints whose bodies were raised could only have been the men and women who had died in faith before the first coming of Christ. Until Christ set them free, their souls had been resting in that
    division of Hades called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). However, when “He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive” after He had “descended first into the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:8-9).

    Matthew 27:53
    27:53 after his resurrection. The Old Testament saints could only receive their glorified resurrection bodies after Christ had been raised, for Christ must “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Corinthians 15:20). Although this is apparently the only specific reference to the resurrection of these pre-Christian-era believers, no other interpretation seems plausible. Evidently their new bodies were seen by people on the earth during the brief period between Christ’s resurrection and His initial ascent to heaven (John 20:17).

  20. As for Lazarus, Dr. Paul L. Maier writes:

    http://www.mtio.com/articles/aissar28.htm

    Topography also provides interesting traces of the supernatural dimension in Jesus’ ministry. Bethany, where he raised Lazarus from the dead, according to John II, is still called “Betanya” by Israelis. But to the majority Arab population of that Jerusalem suburb, the name of the town is El-Lazariyeh, “the place of Lazarus.” That name change was known as far back as Eusebius (church historian, A.D. ca 260-339), and exactly what one would expect if indeed Bethany had witnessed so great a miracle as the dead being raised.

    A similar instance is a southwestern suburb of Damascus. To this day, that location at the edge of the Syrian capital is named Deraya, “The Vision” in Arabic, because of what happened to Saul (the future St. Paul) on the Damascus Road.

    And this is despite the fact that the overwhelming majority Islamic Arabs of Damascus are hardly defenders of the Christian faith! Again, these topographical examples do not themselves prove the miraculous events at these places, but they surely are instances of “fallout” from something extraordinary that must have occurred.

    [snip]

    • As you know, Muslims consider Jesus a great prophet but also oppose Christianity. This is like loving Hitler while rejecting Nazism.

  21. In the Old Testament God tells the Israelites that he will make them eat their sons, daughters, babies, etc. According to Jewish law, which God surely follows, you may eat a baby only if it is not mixed with dairy.

    Finally, a dietary law that makes sense.

  22. David :
    http://www.icr.org/bible/Matthew/27/51-54/
    [snip]
    Matthew 27:52
    27:52 saints which slept arose. Not only had “the light of the world gone out” but also the earth’s great foundation Rock had been smitten (Exodus 17:6). The veil had been rent and the graves of the saints were opened. The saints whose bodies were raised could only have been the men and women who had died in faith before the first coming of Christ. Until Christ set them free, their souls had been resting in that
    division of Hades called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22). However, when “He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive” after He had “descended first into the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:8-9).
    [/snip]

    Yes, yes, we all have our own little, special *versions* of the bible. It’s nice to see that yours says what you like it to say; but across the majority of versions, Matthew 27:52 claims that the dead rose up.
    Matthew 27:52 versions

  23. First off, weapons!!! Ill gahetr up some people(10 at most) and each will have one of their own weapon and a knife. Then after that somebody will have no weapons, but a big bag. That will be full of food(mostly canned!) and water(not plastic)I will have a sword and 2 pistals. Brother has swords ^.^but after that we will TRY and get a money truck, if we can’t get in then a big truck. We will also have some oil in the back of it! after we are ready to go, where driving to the mall in Miami!! Because it closes very secure, and is pretty big. So that’s our shelter, and we kill when[if] they get in. me and my sister got talking about this before ad txted a like 2 hour plan of what we will do if something happens.I have another for the end of the world too!

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