The previous post pointed out three fears that Dead Space exposes the player to. In this post we’ll see the answers to these fears and what good fear looks like.
The Answer to Fear
The astonishing good news of the gospel is that Jesus dealt with all of these fears through the single act of dying in our place.
When we were powerless to our sin, Jesus died for us to take on our sin. Being nailed to the cross was him at his most powerless as he was subject to the torture and pain we should have received, but he endured it in our place. After suffering on the cross, he returned to right hand of God, who also happens to have all of the power.
Being crucified on a cross was considered the most shameful way to die. Jesus was stripped naked and hung up where all could see him struggling and bleeding. On the cross he was exposed and vulnerable in the worst of ways. But because he is God, he triumphed over that shame. By experiencing shame for us, we do not have to be put to shame. This means that we do not have to struggle with the fear of having our secret thoughts exposed.
Jesus’ resurrection from death gave him the power over death. Now we have the hope of eternal life by trusting in the one who claimed victory over death.
We can all acknowledge that fear can be good for us because it prevents us from doing things that would otherwise be dangerous. But what about fearing God? The Old Testament talks about the fear of God multiple times, but mostly in that context it’s meant to describe a healthy respect of God. However, there are also stories and examples of people literally being terrified of God when they encounter him. Some take issue with a God who instills fear in his creation. The response to that concern is this question- If your god isn’t big enough to fear, is he really worth following? The power of God that we fear is the very same power that saves us. If your god does not induce fear, then your god is not powerful enough to save you.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” That fear is not for your punishment, but for your salvation. The God that we fear is as equally wise and loving as he is powerful. This is why “Fear not” is one of the most common commandments by God in the Bible. We silly humans are prone to fear the things listed above and so much more. But God is on our side and so he encourages us to trust in him rather than give in to our fears. He tells us, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.” Because he is a God who loves us perfectly and has the power to protect us, his love gives us no reason to fear, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
There may soon come a time when you sit down in a dark room to play through a horror story. You may start hearing noises in the next room and perhaps check behind you for a hidden Necromorph, zombie or something similarly terrifying. Let that fear you feel serve to remind you that there is a God who both justifies your fear and loves you enough to take that fear away.
And speaking of love, happy Valentine’s Day. Go find someone you care about and give them a big hug.
We’ll continue the discussion about Dead Space next time by discussing bad gods, rebirth, and taking another look at Unitology.