Like Father, Like Son

I was doing some exercises in my home last week and my daughter came and started watching me. Then, she started imitating the exercise I was doing. She was excited that she and daddy were “getting strong muscles together.” Scenes like this are a common experience with every family in the world, because children imitate their parents. That is how they learn. They are constantly observing and imitating. So, it is no surprise that children often end up with behavior patterns and outlooks similar to their parents. And it is because of this that we have phrases such as “Like Father, like Son,” “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” and “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Often this similarity can be a joy for parents as they see their children acting just like them. Other times we wish our children hadn’t picked up a habit from us. I hope my daughter doesn’t pick up my propensity to worry or some of my other sins and flaws!

Thankfully, there was one Son who was like his Father in every way. And there were no bad habits for this Son to imitate. When Jesus spoke of his relationship with God, He spoke of it like the relationship between a father and a son. Jesus says in John 5:19-21 “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. In this verse Jesus says he imitates the Father perfectly. In fact, the son “can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing.” This means it was the Father’s will to save you. Jesus is the perfect expression and manifestation of the Father’s will. So by looking at Jesus’ work, we know it was the Father’s will to save us. It was his will to rescue us from death and give us life. We know that was his will because that is what the son did! And after all, “Like Father, like Son.” 

So, if you are ever wondering about how God feels about you or what his will is for your life, all you have to do is look at the Son. Because the Son is God and is the perfect manifestation of the Father’s will. And when we look at the Son, we find out that it is God’s will to love us, give us life, and to use us to glorify his name. Amen.


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You’re a Zombie! But you won’t be forever.

You’re a Zombie! But you won’t be forever.

Our culture (or at least a subset of our culture) is obsessed with zombies. This point is easy to prove when you look at the list of movies, TV shows, and books about zombies that have come out in the past two decades: World War Z, The Walking Dead, iZombie, Zombiland, I am Legend, etc. This is just a short selection of the Zombie entertainment available! Considering our culture’s obsession with zombies, I thought I would use zombies as a metaphor for different states of a human life: your life before Christ, your life with Christ, and your life at the resurrection. 

First, we have your life before Christ. Without Christ your life is like that of a zombie. Think of a zombie in The Walking Dead. In The Walking Dead, the zombies are alive in a sense. But they are only alive because a virus has reanimated their corpse. These virus infected beings have no real will or consciousness of their own. They are driven only by an instinct to kill and consume. They are an object worthy of contempt and disgust and the best thing to do with these zombies is to put a bullet in their head before they hurt anyone. This is similar to our state of existence before coming to faith in Christ. The apostle Paul says in Ephesians chapter two that before Christ people are dead in their transgressions and sins. They are Zombies! The walking dead! their only desire is to “gratify the cravings of their flesh” (Ephesians 2:3). And in this state people are “by nature deserving of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). Is there any hope! Yes. 

Despite our wretched zombie state God loved us. Like Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) in I am Legend, he worked doggedly for a cure. And a cure was created by Jesus the son of God. This cure is delivered to us by the Holy Spirit using the syringe of the Means of Grace, God’s word and Sacrament. Once we have been given this cure we are made alive! God says this in Ephesians 2, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” 

This brings us to our second state of human existence, being alive in Christ. By giving us faith God has made us alive. For this state of existence think of the zombie “R” in the movie Warm Bodies. R is a zombie who begins to regain his humanity. He starts to like and desire good things like love, beauty, and music. He fights against his zombie nature to become more and more human. This is what our life in Christ on this earth is like. Christ has made us alive and out of thankfulness for that gift we desire to live a life according to his word. We desire good and godly things. However, we are still plagued by what we call “the flesh.” We still have our old sinful zombie flesh that desires to be its sinful zombie self. And so, we have to fight against that nature. To fight against that nature we need to keep getting doses of the cure. We need to return to God’s word regularly so our sinful nature doesn’t take over again. This struggle doesn’t stop until we pass away. But that is when our life as a zombie ends. 

After we die our souls go to be with God. Then, on the last day our bodies are resurrected by God. And God will not resurrect zombies. He is going to resurrect us and restore us to our full human state. We will be resurrected the way God intended humanity to be all the way back at the garden of Eden, created in his image glorious and beautiful. 

Until that day, my zombie brothers and sisters, keep fighting against your zombie nature. Come and keep getting doses of the cure, Jesus. That cure is only found in God’s word. 


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