Jesus will some day return to the earth, so we believe. The debate seems to be whether it’s a mission of love, where he leads humanity to a new age of peace and restoration. Or judgment day, when fire rains from heaven, and hell breaks free to devour the non-believers. I won’t give my opinion, except that one of these options seems to reflect the heart of Jesus, the other makes a great video game…
I do find it interesting that this passage includes mysterious men in white. It doesn’t say angels, although that’s what we assume. If you’re a nerd like me you’ve heard of the Men in Black. Not the Will Smith version. The actual rumours that terrible movie was based on. Men in Black, who visit people who’ve seen things they can’t explain, and telling them to shut it. Government spooks? Or eternal enemy of the men in white! As if there’s some kind of covert war between heaven and hell beyond the war for our souls.
Warning, the last paragraph contained nothing but ridiculous speculation which is not based on any fact.
For those of you who are unaware, we have all avoided a different kind of judgment day. The one foretold in the Terminator Chronicles. So my comic tips its hat to that little bit of lore today. Hope everyone had a happy Easter! Sorry the comic is sort of late. I was busy visiting family, and partaking in the sin of gluttony. That sin gets so much business it’s almost unfair to the rest of them.
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There are lots of things that are different between the culture in Jesus’ time and in ours. One being that demons possessing people was apparently an accepted fact back then. I’m sure it was still a terrifying idea, but no one in the Jewish culture seemed shocked when it came up. I do follow a couple paranormal-type sites, and possession, or experiences that sound very similar, seem to still take place. If you believe in that kind of stuff. One place where possession is certainly healthy is Hollywood. If you’re like me, your mind immediately goes to The Exorcist. Maybe one of the creepiest movies I’ve ever seen. Dealing with possession would be one of the most horrifying experiences ever.
Yet Jesus tells demons to “get lost” quite often, as if it’s no big deal. And they do it. Can you imagine re-making The Exorcist with Jesus, or even one of the disciples (as they also seemed to have this ability)? Or that guy that was in my comic a while ago? It would be a pretty anti-climactic movie.
Open on the bedroom scene. The girl is writhing and screaming, vomit flying. Enter Jesus. The demon screams and spits. Jesus says, “Get out.” And it does. The end.
Suddenly it doesn’t seem so spooky anymore, does it? That’s God, and Jesus for you. Showing us yet again that it’s not some kind of war between heaven and hell. Hell backs down pretty fast when it comes up against heaven; it doesn’t even try to fight. Maybe that’s why I’m a fan of stories where good triumphs over evil. ‘Cause I believe that’s how reality works.
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Yet another “heaven is like this” parable. I like the idea that it’s not so much the willingness to give up everything that’s heaven-like, it’s how weird you’ll look doing it. When you commit to following Jesus as Lord, you become a member of the kingdom of heaven. Those of us in the kingdom are supposed to look weird to those who aren’t living as part of the kingdom. So if people aren’t pointing and laughing at you for following Christ, you’re not doing it right.
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Women in the Old Testament culture need to be attached to men in order to have status as a member of society. So Tamar’s husband dies, leaving her without a son or husband, and so she becomes an outcast. In old Jewish culture, her dead husband’s brother is required to get her pregnant so she can be a person again. (I know, weird.) But this brother refuses to get her pregnant, so God kills him, I guess… Then Judah, the father of these two dead boys, won’t let his third son get with Tamar, likely worried that he’ll somehow die too. She seems to be bad luck. So Tamar is stuck being not recognized as people. She concocts a weird plan. She dresses as a prostitute, tricks Judah into having sex with her, getting his stuff for proof. Then three months later, surprise! Judah would love to kill Tamar off, cause she’s been such a nuisance, but he can’t without looking bad, so he’s trapped, and Tamar gets her personhood back with a new son.
So like everything in the Old Testament, it’s convoluted and odd to our modern senses. But I think it would have been a pretty sweet reveal moment. Judah’s like, “Oh crap!” That’s gonna haunt him for a while. OT version of girl power. However weird it is….
I recently wrote a blog post for a new website. Check it out! It’s called Everything is Real. I rant about why multiple mythologies in comics irritates me.
Another blog I enjoy with a great community is Wesdraws.com . I genuinely enjoy the discussions that go on here. But he recently appealed to my greedy side with a contest, hence this mention of his blog. How ironic, a Christian appealing to another Christian’s greed to further his own fame. Hey, we never claimed to be perfect, we just claim to follow the one who was. =)
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