Those who follow Jesus claim that he died and came back to life. Based on this, some people might assume that Jesus was a zombie.
So.... does the evidence we have show that Jesus was a zombie?
Those in the zombie-Jesus camp and those who follow Jesus would agree on one point, that Jesus did return from the dead.
The most reliable historical document we have that tells of this event is the Bible. We will use this document to examine the behavior of Jesus after his return from the grave.
For information on zombies we will have to loosely base our rules on the “Romero Zombie.” George Romero is the “Godfather of all Zombies”. Though he never wrote a zombie rule book, he is known for the zombie classic "Night of the Living Dead". We'll use his understanding as our standard on what a zombie looks like.
Based on the “Romero Zombie” and the biblical Jesus, let's compare zombies to Jesus.
Zombies vs Jesus
Zombies are human bodies that died and have come back to life.
Jesus died and came back to life.
Zombies only possess basic motor skills.
Jesus built a fire and cooked fish for Peter and a few of his other followers. – John 21
Zombies cannot talk, at best they can communicate through moans and groans.
Jesus spoke to several people after rising from the dead. – John 21 (for one example)
Zombies have one intention: to eat the living.
Jesus seemed to have no intention of eating people, we have no record of him eating any humans after rising from the dead.
Zombies are dangerous.
Jesus did not seem dangerous at all. On the contrary, people were happy to be around him. He traveled with two of his followers (without them even knowing it was him) and they asked him to stay with them when he was getting ready to part from them. If he were dangerous it would not make sense to ask him to stay. – Luke 24:29
Zombies are physical, they have no supernatural abilities.
Jesus was able to walk through walls and disappear. These seem like some kind of supernatural function which zombies are incapable of. – Luke 24:31, John 20:19
Zombies' bodies are decaying and rotting.
Jesus' body did still have the holes from the spear and nails, but surprisingly Thomas, one of his followers, was not afraid to stick his finger in those holes. If Jesus were a rotting corpse it seems unlikely that people would be so willing to eat the food he prepared or stick their hands in his side. John 20: 27, Luke 24:42-43, John 21
Zombies are not capable of complex actions.
Jesus could prepare meals, explain complicated doctrines, ask tough questions, perform supernatural acts, and did several other things that demonstrated problem solving and complex thought processes. His actions and words demonstrated something beyond human, not subhuman such as the living dead.
ZOMBIE OR SOMETHING MORE?
So.... whether you believe in Jesus or not, it is clear from Scripture that the risen Jesus it describes is certainly not a zombie.
We can disbelieve the Bible and write off the resurrection all together, or embrace the Bible's story and realize that the risen Jesus was someone who was raised in glory, not decay.
Whichever you choose, a zombie Jesus is clearly not an option.
Is it possible that a man came back from the dead? Do we have any evidence that this event actually could have taken place? You could take my word for it or you could read it for yourself. Check out the book of John, it's in the bible. You know that book those nice people leave in hotel rooms. You may be surprised at what you find.
About this post
This post is based on an article written by Dan Allen and is published with his permission (thanks Dan!). I thought this would make a great discussion starter to get people talking about Jesus so I rewrote the article to use as a handout. You can check out the original: Was Jesus a Zombie?
Thanks to "K" for the great Zombie artwork.
I also created a pdf version suitable for printing. If you would like me to send you a copy of the pdf just leave a comment.