Season 2, Episode 11—Judge, Jury, and Executioner

The Walking Dead (Season 2)Have you ever seen the movie 12 Angry Men? It’s a classic film from the 50’s that has basically every awesome actor from that decade, and the plot revolves around one juror trying to convince the other 11 that a man is innocent.

Dale would have done well in 12 Angry Men. He seems to constantly be the voice of moral reasoning, and this week he had one of his finest moments- which will be his last for obvious reasons. His speeches and actions draw us once again into the moral dilemma story arc that questions what rules really are rules when there are no rules- right?

But no matter where you stand on the whole “should we kill Randall” issue (that could be debated until the Zombie Apocalypse really does take place!), I think that most people became a little frustrated by Carl this week. First he goes off “walker” hunting with a gun, then shows that he is more like Lori than Rick when he simultaneously motivates the walker to free himself, loses the gun, and leads the zombie back to camp…yikes!

But maybe we should give Carl some slack… the guy has lost his mom and endured more than most of us could even fathom. Maybe that explains the shift in his philosophy of hopefulness to essentially bitter hopelessness. This came out at about 15 minutes into the episode when Carl and Carol have a quick exchange about the afterlife:

Carol: You know, we’ll see Sophia again in heaven one day. She’s in a better place

Carl: No, she’s not. Heaven is just another lie, and if you believe it, you’re an idiot.

1. What do you think is causing the change in Carl?
2. Have you ever felt like you might be an idiot for believing in the supernatural (i.e. God, heaven, hell, etc.)? Why or why not?
3. Do you think Sophia is in a ‘better place’? Why or why not?
4. What would you do if someone told you to your face that you were an ‘idiot’ for believing in heaven?

Read the following passage from Scripture:

Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival.  I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.

John 14:1-4

5. What do you picture heaven to be like from Jesus’ description?
6. How do people get there? (see verse 1)
7. How can a belief in heaven help you through difficult times?
8. What is Jesus doing to ‘make arrangements’ for our arrival?
9. Would you give up on your belief in heaven if the zombie apocalypse occurred?   Why or why not?
10. What makes you confident that heaven is a real place?

Wrap up
Going through periods of doubt is normal-maybe even expected when times are difficult. But Jesus has assured us that He is preparing a place for us in heaven that will be our ultimate destination. If you are going through hard times or doubt, remember His words of comfort that can give you peace and confidence.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen's Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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