It is all over the news. In fact, you can hardly find an escape. It is indeed everywhere and now they’re telling us it was here before we knew it was here. They have us quarantined at home aside from essential trips to find groceries and such. Why? The coronavirus outbreak referred to as COVID-19. This pandemic has certainly got our attention as it wreaks havoc across the globe with hundreds of thousands expected to lose their lives. This, while the best scientists in the most advanced institutions in the world wrestle to gain the upper hand.
On this Good Friday when we remember the day of Christ’s crucifixion it brings us to the obvious question of why? Why did Christ have to die on the cross and why is this coronavirus doing its best to kill us?
The answer is found in the passage referenced today referred to as, “The Curse”. This act of God cursing his own creation was the result of the fall of Man. Please review the passages preceding where the perfection of the garden was infected by the temptation of the serpent (Satan) resulting in the sin (something less than holy) of Adam and Eve. That willful disobedience of the first man stained his kind. That’s you and me. We now have the nature of sin within us because of what Adam did. And with that comes our inheritance of the curse.
In fact, the world from that point forward is living under the curse. The curse of creation has actually been at work attacking through the ages and having a greater and greater effect. A review of the patriarchs reveal a steady decline in the age to which they live. Methuselah lived 969 years the oldest recorded living man. But all of these early men lived for hundreds of years many more than 500. As the curse persisted so did the decline in the age to which a normal man would live.
Only with the introduction of modern science, our deeper understanding of the pathogens of the curse have we been able to push back. But are we pushing back successfully? I mean real success. Not just incremental improvement. I would say, no. Median lifespan is now in the high seventies approaching eighty. That’s a far cry from 969. And by the way, that life span of nearly 1000 years was not God’s design. Man was created to be an eternal being. Death was introduced with the curse. None of us were ever supposed to die – full stop!
But with the curse came death and all the means toward death including yes, the coronavirus and this present COVID-19. It is the result of the curse and it will be defeated by the scientists and our own immune system which God too created.
So what is the tie to this day; Good Friday?
Well, why would it be called “Good” when such a terrible thing happened? How is the crucifixion of Christ “Good”?
Frankly, it was the only way. In fact, it was the very purpose of Christ’s coming to this earth in the form of Man living in this cursed creation but doing so perfectly. Living a sin free life. That set him up to be the perfect sacrifice. Not for himself, a sinless man requires no sacrifice. Just go ahead, live a perfect life and find out. Ooops, no you cant. It’s not possible since you come from Adam and were born into the lineage of sin.
So on this day some 2000 years ago the perfect was sacrificed for the imperfect. His act of giving himself up on the cross as a holy sacrifice enables the restoration of mankind. A reconciliation of the cursed back into the presence of a holy God. His act breaks the curse.
But, whoa, hold on, you said that happened 2000 years ago. Why do we have a pandemic today?
Well, that is simple to answer but hard to understand. The simple answer is that God is merciful and full of grace. You see the impact of the act of Christ on the cross is dependent on our faith. We must believe what Christ did and believe He did it for us. In order to do that, some of the generations prior to Christ looked forward to the cross anticipating the Messiah. There are numerous examples of faithful people believing the promise of a deliverer and that faith being reckoned as righteousness. Since the cross we look back with the same faith. God’s grace has provided the time for this message to reach us. In fact, He is providing time for all to hear and respond to this good news.
So what? All this blather about reconciliation and sin and etc. etc. Why does this all matter? People are sick and dying.
Yep! They are and they will continue to. The coronavirus COVID-19 is a blessing in one simple way. It has our attention. It has brought the stark reality of life and death literally to our front door. There is no escape from the cursed world in which we live. That is, no escape other than through Christ. Even then, we will all still die. Well, except those who are still here when Christ comes to bring us home. But that’s a story for another day.
For today, take a moment to reflect on the cross. The sacrifice made for you. Make the decision that this gift of grace is indeed for you and accept it. You can do that right there where you are. Just talk to God – in your head or out loud. He’ll hear you.
And with me and the other Christians around the world anticipate with great joy the celebration of Easter on Sunday when we celebrate the victory of Christ as he conquered death and rose from the tomb. Like Christ, we who believe will rise and join Him to live forever as originally intended.
The Curse is Broken! AMEN