(The Virus of Sin – The Vaccine of Jesus) Romans:5:12,18
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The corona virus has become a global problem. It’s hard to write a sermon and say much about something that changes not only day by day, but every few hours as experts come out and give their thoughts. A few things are for sure, the virus doesn’t really care if you are rich or poor, dark brown or light brown, young or over the hill, it’s contagious and everyone can agree they want it gone.
One of the new things I have learned about this virus and viruses in general is that there are these people who are affectionately called “super spreaders”. They can get the virus and the people that come into contact with them are more likely to get infected by them. It could be that something like 80% of the sick get the virus from a minority of people who actually have the virus, say 20%. There are cases in history that seem to prove this out. Who are they now? We sure wish we knew.
Yet, could you imagine the opposite? Imagine there was a person with super immunity to the virus. Imagine they could walk into a hospital in china with thousands of patients and they didn’t need to wear a mask, they didn’t need to wear any gloves and no super spreader could get them sick. That person would be amazing. We would poke so many holes in that person until we found out what was in their blood and DNA that made them so immune! From them we would have high hopes of finding a cure, which could then be used to vaccinate the world.
Jesus was such a person when he came to earth. In a world that was sick with sin and people that are either days or decades away from death, he was not sick nor would he decay due to death like the rest of us. I know the world has yet to grasp how amazing that is, and I know that you and I can take that for granted because we have been told this wonderful news before. But it’s true. Jesus is the only one who was sinless!
Could you imagine if someone told us that that Corona virus was normal, and we should just accept it as a reality? I don’t know anybody would like that or agree with that; but if the corona virus was around from the start, then it would be accepted as such. Case in point, this is what happened with sin and death. People now think they are normal.
There have only been three people on earth that could tell us that sin and death where not the norm. Can you guess who they are? That’s right. Adam, Eve and Jesus. That’s it. For everyone else the evil of sin and death where just “always here” and sort-of-like “normal”. We hear it said that a person is “human” and we know exactly what that means. It means they are not perfect, aka sinful.
Let's pretended I am setting you up on a blind date, and you ask what the other person is like and I say…They are nice, friendly, and “human”. You know what that means, there are flaws, you will see the flaws, expect flaws and don’t blame me, you should know there are flaws! Yet, it’s not just sin that we have learned to say is normal, death also.
In fact, the “great minds” of the world are all telling us how “beautiful death” is because it’s natural. No, death is not natural. If it was, Jesus wouldn’t have cried at anyone’s tomb, and mourning would not have been a thing in the Old Testament that lasted seven days! Yes, all death is a virus given by the devil and he did his best to give it to Jesus in the desert over a time of 40 days and 40 nights. The devil…
Tried to get a hungry Jesus to turn a stone into bread.
Tried to get Jesus upset enough to jump from a high place to prove he is the Son of God and get caught by angels.
Tried to give Jesus what would seem like paradise on earth, nothing close to a cross on Calvary.
This was nothing other than the first “super spreader” of sin trying his best to share the virus of sin anyway he knew how, but Jesus didn’t get sick. Even though he was true man, he used his strength as true God not to yield to the devil’s temptations.
This was all the devil did, day in and day out, but even on the last day of Jesus’ fast (the 40th day when he was at his weakest) the devil couldn’t do it. The strongest day of the devil was still not match for Jesus’ weakest day, and that would remain true again in Jesus’ life.
On the day Jesus was the weakest, hanging on the cross, he was still stronger than the devil and the temptations of any man. And that’s our great comfort as Christians today. He allowed himself to be tempted, he allowed himself to suffer and die, because he was taking away our sins; he was making a new “normal” for us that doesn’t look like the world we have today which says “human” is another word for “sinful” and “death” is another word for “natural”.
The cure was in his body, the cure was in his blood, that cure came from his pierced hands and his pierced side, it came from a body they laid in the tomb, but did not decay, but rejected it. Just as he had rejected everything sinful in his life, even in his death, sin could not touch him or control him.
When we look at Jesus, we should see a guy who came into the corona virus infected world of humanity and never got sick, but in fact gave everyone the cure; a cure they could believe in and take, or a cure they could ignore and reject. A cure that could change the future of humanity or not, per the individual.
Could you imagine someone rejecting a cure, because they look around the hospital at other sick people and think that’s normal? It’s a ludicrous thought, but that is what happens every day. So corrupted by sin, the sinner feels at many times, uncorrupted. The desire to find Jesus, to follow him, to dwell with him forever, is almost something too good to be true and they don’t want to even “pretend”. Perhaps you know that feeling, perhaps you fight that temptation. This is how the devil continually operates.
I don’t know what will come of the corona virus, perhaps later today or this week, we’ll be speeding away from it and hardly be able to make it out in the rearview mirror. Maybe this week, it will jump out in front of our car like a deer and there is no swerving or missing it. We’ll pray that the latter is the case.
At any rate, I do know of a virus that we all have, and I do know Jesus is the cure. His righteous life, his payment for sin, they are the cure and it isn’t only in our reach or a future hope, Jesus puts it into our hearts and hands to have. He came into our world and gave us the cure…
Follow him this Lenten season: follow him like a like your life and well being depends on it, because it really will one day. Amen.