I love MIT. I was on the subway today with a MIT computer geek and we started talking shop with me polishing my geek cred. Star Trek, the upcoming Anime convention: it was 15 minutes that would make my spouse twitch a little bit.
Then the conversation got even more interesting. He saw I had my cross out and visible and asked if I was a Christian. I said yes, I am a pastor, and I actually have a blog called “Hacking Christianity.” He liked the blog name and then said something that really turned wheels in my head. Here’s roughly what we said:
Hacker: You know what I think? I think if Death was a system, then Jesus hacked the system of death. We could say he did it through a 0day exploit.
Me: Or in Jesus’ case, a 3day exploit.
Hacker: Exactly. He broke it open for everyone.
In hacking, a 0day exploit is a vulnerability in a system that is so newly uncovered that it is unfixed (hence: zero days in existence). It is not a virus, but knowledge of the vulnerability is shared from hacker to hacker once it is released into the wild. The company then has to fix the system quickly to keep the hack from working anymore. The longer the gap between detection and fixing it, the greater the 0day hack.
I like this metaphor because it speaks to nerds about what Jesus did.
- Jesus hacked the system of death by living and dying in a way that death hadn’t seen before or knew how to contain, even in a tomb.
- Three days later, Jesus escaped from death and told of his 3day exploit to his followers, with instructions to spread it “to all the nations.”
- The followers did so, and the hack continues to work for generations of followers because the exploit of the system of death is unfixable. The hack is eternal life.
Nerds. You never know what they might come up with.