Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Bring Out Your Dead" (ReBuilt: A Modern Parable of the Justified)



The next day a man, a stranger, walks onto the porch. “Bring out your dead!” he calls cheerily.*

You don’t watch Monty Python, so you don’t get the joke. “What makes you think there are dead here?”

“I can smell it on your breath; I hear it in your words;** I see it in your eyes. It clings to you like a monstrous burden. This house has killed you. Your landlord cracked the gas lines and installed the asbestos. Your landlord made sure there are no detectors for smoke or gas. Your landlord likes his tenants dead. But you were meant to be alive.*** And I can get rid of that body of death and make this house livable.”

“How can I trust you?”

“Why do you think you even know that you are dead? You thought you were tired and sick. I showed you what was real. I opened your eyes. You needed to know.**** You can trust me because I bring you truth that will set you free.”

 “Why me?”

“Why not you? I care about you. I seek and save people and situations that seem hopeless.+  Plus, I would like to move into this house,++ and where I am, there is no room for death and ruin,” the Man said with a twinkle in his eye.+++

“Where would I go?”

“Why would you want to go?”

You sit quietly for a long time. Your father always said you got what you deserved and never helped with your house or your health. Your landlord pretended to be your friend while guiding you down a road to death. Your friends had invited you to go with their dead selves to their dead parties on dead city streets.

You look around at the shambles all around you. You remember the landlord’s harsh, condemning voice.++++ You feel the dead weight of your sins, failures and inadequacies on your back.^ You’ve never known anyone who seemed to care about you and your life. He offers a new start. He offers a new identity. He offers to make all things new.^^

Finally you whisper, “I have no future. I have no hope. Everyone offers me death. There is nowhere else to go. You are the only one who has ever offered me life.^^^ So…yes. Let’s do this. I and my house are yours.”

The Man stands up and lifts my dead self off my back and onto his. “Well done. You have asked for resurrection, and I will give it. I’ll pay what you owe and get the deed to the house. I’ll be back in three days, because resurrection is neither cheap nor easy. But when I return, I will show you what life is supposed to look like.” ^^^^

You watch him until he is out of sight. You wonder what he is going to do with all the dead he takes upon himself as he walks through the town. Then you rest.^^^^^

When you awake at dawn three days later, you know everything has changed.

*John 11:25
**Romans 3:13
***John 5:21
****2 Timothy 2:26
+Luke 19:10
++1 Corinthians 6:19
+++1 Corinthians 15:55
++++Revelation 12:10
^Isaiah 43:24
^^Revelation 21:5
^^^John 6:68
^^^^Hebrews 2:14-18
^^^^^Matthew 11:28

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