The Devil is a Vampire in Reverse

The Cross of Christ is still the most polarizing event in history. The assassination of President JFK, the death of Elvis, Miss Monroe, – you name the death of a public figure and compare it to Christ, you will be back-pedaling until chain falls off. There is no death so loved and yet so hated/scoffed/mocked/met with indifference by so many diverse people all over the world for such a long period of world history that it necessarily begs the question: What kind of death is this?

And he spread his nerves-on-fire hands, nailed to a cross of wood and said, “This kind.” It’s rare. It’s vicious. It’s the most gotcha kind-of-love that the world has ever seen or ever will. Literally, “the Satan” thought he had won. The dragon, the beast that was filled with wild jealous rage stupidly sank his fangs into Christ – like a Vampire from hell, the devil bit – and thought that he had taken the very life of the Son of God. But as Peter Kreeft wrote,

“Life conquered Death not by power but by love. The Little Lamb defeated the Great Beast by using His secret weapon: His blood, His love. He let the Beast drink His blood, like a reverse Dracula” – (The Philosophy of Jesus, 23).

The devil is a vampire in reverse because when he went after Christ, he lost. Christ’s blood-shedding would not end Jesus, but Satan. All vampires gain strength, longevity, and power by drinking the blood of their victims. But Jesus was no victim. And he was no patsy-meal for the devil, either. What Satan thought would be his victory it was the exact opposite. It was his eternal undoing. And that means all those who are in Christ will not, cannot be finally and ultimately defeated. All the little bites that we Christians endure from here to eternity are just that – empty, poison-less bites that have no power, other than to further the future humiliation of Satan and all those aligned with him. Christ has won – and he did it by letting the devil bite him. No one could have ever written such fiction. For nearly two thousand years now the world is still fascinated with Jesus. He could not have been invented as a fairly-tale and caused a tsunami of followers to also lay down their lives, and again, expose the wicked of the earth as demons in reverse – defeated by their own hate. It must be true. Jesus is real. Jesus won by dying.

The Mystery of Losing a Parent


It’s been some time since I’ve posted. And even now, though I speak publicly and privately each week in several settings, there is something about writing that requires stillness, and for now, it is very private to me: apologies to readers for the sound of silence. But . . . I will try to put thoughts to ones and zeros again.

It is a deep mystery of losing a parent, for me, for now, it’s pre-losing. Today I spent some time with my parents. Many of you know that my dad is dying of cancer and will soon be with the Lord. But I keep asking myself the same question, and the answer is like grasping wind in your hand. Elusive. Frustrating. Like a fog that settles in a valley, you look down into it from the top and you cannot see what is below . . . but here goes:

Today I drove around my home town by myself, after taking a swim at Salmon Run, of course. Then, down mainstreet, I begin to talk to myself: “grandpa repaired shoes just over there”; “. . . the old Ben Franklin store used to be right there . . . “; “. . . I love that old building” – as I drive up the hill on the backside of Old Main – my jr. highschool, and for many in my family, their highschool; “. . . memories cascade so fast I can’t keep up”; “the old band building, the red brick one, friday night football games, the band,  . . . the grade school – I peer into the window of my first grade class room with Mrs. Forren . . .” – “. . . that’s where Eddy hit me in the head with the baseball bat during recess – 6th grade – still have the scar”; up McKees Creek Rd – “grandma switched me right there – creepy old house on the left – dangerous curve – stop: memories flood over me . . . what happened to time? – gone – what am I feeling? – what is it exactly that is at the bottom of this melancholy? – I hate this – why does this hurt so deeply that I can’t even begin to get an answer because I’m not sure what the question is.

And there it is. It is the one of the most perplexing questions that face us, the anthropology of “Who am I?”

At least for me, the mystery of losing a parent puts pressure upon the conscience to answer this with more knowledge than I own. We have rightly lived our lives having our identity shaped by knowing who brought us into this world. There is a sense of security, oneness, belonging-ness, to-be-loved and return-love to the one person that you can say, “I am his son.” But what if he’s gone? It feels like a dimension of you dies when you lose a parent. The “Who am I? I am his son!” is now disjointed. This is why Peter Kreeft says that eventually in this life, we turn inward and wonder who we really are once we stop playing with our masks on other people’s stages (The Philosophy of Jesus, 7). Have I been playing on my dad’s stage, and when he’s gone, so is the stage, and so is my self-identity?

Not really, writes Kreeft. It just feels that way because we really have been blessed to have lived a long life in a loving relationship with the one person on the entire planet that explains, in part, our existence. And when that one person is gone, it feels . . . empty.

Thankfully, I do not have to answer my own question, Who am I?, for I cannot. Furthermore, the loss of a parent that mystifies life – literally, wrecks this neatly structured sequence, can also be answered, but again, not by me. I am finding a deeper comfort in Jesus, the “I Am” who knows who I am (John 8:75-58) – that’s the answer! That is, Christ is not my Answer Man, a means to my end – he IS the Answer (The Philosophy of Jesus, 40). Christ is the meaning of man. To attempt to know yourself apart from him who became flesh is illogical. If there is no God who became the self-existent I Am, then why the droopy face? Who cares?!?!? Besides, if you were not created by him then what explains why you even think about yourself . . . if you are by random, then so are your thoughts. But then again, you could not read what I am writing and put into logical order for understanding. But you are reading and you are thinking, and you are wanting to know yourself . . . aren’t you? You care who you are. So does Jesus. He cares enough to question you, “Do you know who you are? Do you know who I AM is?”

To live with the mystery of losing a parent is now cradled by knowing Jesus more fully, the one who transcends, who was before my parents, who will be here after they’re gone and after I’m gone. To know him who is “yesterday, today, and forever” is modest serenity, just enough until I am face to face with him. Who am I? I am a lover of Jesus Christ, who is the God Man, who is The Subject, never the object. I am the object whose identity is defined by the one who made me, made my dad, made his dad, and his dad, and . . . and . . . and