“I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit (Psalm 30:1-3).”
I am not a big fan of the horror genre. In fact, I am no fan at all.
I do occasionally remember seeing the beginning of a TV show called “Tales from the Crypt”, with some sarcastic, grotesque figure introducing each episdoe. I had no interest in it, and don’t recall ever watching the program.
Stil, the moniker “Tales from the Crypt” is quite novel and I thought I would do a little research to learn something about this series. It IS Halloween!
It turns out the broadcast originated with a comic book series from the 50s. In fact, there was a film of horror anthologies made in the 1970s, each introduced by this ghoulish character.
Each stories main characters are flawed people looking out for themselves. The stories all end horribly for them. (What else would you expect in a horror film!?).
At the end of all the stories, this grotesque emcee, the Crypt Keeper, reminds all the characters of their various sins and their endings. The door to Hell opens and the characters all enter.
“And now… who is next?” asks the Crypt Keeper, who then turns to face the camera and says, slowly and melodramatically, “Perhaps you?”
Christians have approached the concept of Hell differently. Some of us see it as quite real, but are divided as to its nature. Others ignore its existence and go on about their lives. Finally, some deny Hell’s existence altogether.
This is not the place to carry on about the doctrine of Hell. However, the plausibility of its existence should at least make us think of the consequences.
If indeed Hell exists, we need to make sure we are not heading their outselves. Furthermore, we need to rescue as many who are willing from entering its gates.
There’s only one way to avoid Hell. It’s to except the atonement of Jesus Christ.
What He did on the Cross for us was illustrated in a scene from the Old Testament. It involved an offering. Moses was instructed by God to collect some money from each Israelite when he took a census.
The people formed up and, when they were counted, paid the money. They then stood apart from the others. As each person gave the offering, he passed over to the “paid in full” group.
This scene was played out as a remembrance of God providing the means of forgiveness of their sins. With this “atonement money”, God was satisfied and the people were reconciled to Him. Without it, they would endure a plague (Exodus 30:11-16).
Today, if we trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, we are reconciled to God. God isn’t satisfied with money now. He will only accept our faith in His Son, who has already paid our fee once and for all. If we were an invoice, we would be walking around with a big “paid in full” on our foreheads.
At Halloween we are reminded of the things pertaining to Hell. They are all over our pop culture.
One reason we can have peace and not fear during this “celebration” is that we know we are not affected by it. We have passed over, from death to life.
We won’t be a character in “Tales from the Crypt.” The only door opening for us is the one to Heaven and eternity living with Jesus Christ. For us, Halloween ought to be a time of praise that we have been delivered from darkness.
But there are those still stuck in the twilight zone, fearing death, and as a result, life. Thus, Halloween also ought to be a remembrance to reach out and grab those folks and let Jesus pull then to the other side.