Posted on 26 October 2010, 16:01
Biblical scholars have always been a bit cagey about three bizarre verses in Matthew’s Gospel, which come just after Jesus has expired on the cross. The verses (Matthew 27:51-53) read…
The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
But where experts fear to tread, comic strip artist Rob Liefeld has rushed in with Zombie Jesus! – a new strip he’s just started serializing on his website. In the strip, zombie hordes attack Jerusalem in the 48 hours after the crucifixion in search of the corpse of Christ. They’re led by the zombie of Judas, fresh after hanging himself, and opposed by Lazarus the Immortal.
All of which puts an interpretation on Matthew’s verses more colourful and exciting than any I ever heard in Bible college.
Liefeld, whose work has appeared in Marvel comics, is no stranger to mixing religion with the pumped-up heroes of comic strip. He collaborated with Phil Hotsenpiller, the teaching pastor of the Friends Church in Yorba Linda (a megachurch in southern California) to produce Armageddon Now: World War III, a graphic novel.
Hotsenpiller is a conference speaker on end-times prophecy, and the novel, which he wrote, is full of the phobias, prejudices and superstitions of modern-day eschatologists, not to mention generous helpings of violence. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to learn that he’s also written the script for Liefeld’s Zombie Jesus! It’s such a tiny step from the fantasy theology of the rapture and the great tribulation to zombies getting out of their graves.