At the time of writing this (March 16th, 2020), the total number of confirmed Coronavirus (or Covid-19) cases in the UK has reached 1,543 and 124 of those are in Wales—30 of those have been tested positive today. The number of infected people is growing every day, and by the time you’re reading this, I can only guess what has happened.
What’s struck me so far is the state of panic that so many people are in, especially in relation to panic-buying. People are fearful of what might happen to them and as a result, they are emptying the supermarket shelves to ensure their own comfort. Fear has struck the nation. People are afraid of what might happen to them or someone they know.
It’s incredible how this virus has caused such a sudden worry in people when there is something far greater, worse and powerful to worry about which has been around for much longer than the Coronavirus and its effects are far more devastating. The Coronavirus can affect one’s health, it can disrupt society, and the worst-case scenario is death. But still, there is something that has been ongoing since the beginning of time which is far worse and its consequences are infinitely more disastrous. What is it? It’s sin—the inner corruption of humans. You might be rolling your eyes at me now thinking to yourself, “Typical preacher…sin this, sin that. How predictable”. If that’s the case, then how ironic—that you have heard this before, and yet it still doesn’t bother you. The coronavirus may bring upon us our first death, but sin brings us the second death; the eternal death beyond the physical realm.
My life is committed to pleading with people to turn from their sin and to receive Christ and all that he has for us: life eternal and all its joy and blessings. God warns us that we are already dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1) – in other words, we are already infected.
Imagine if it was possible for one man to absorb all of the effects of the Coronavirus into his own body and suffer the effects of it to set everyone else free. Imagine one man taking the pain for us all so that we don’t have to suffer. But, the only way we could be free from the Coronavirus, is if we allowed him to receive our pain. That would be terrible for him, but wouldn’t that be wonderful for the world? What a hero he would be – the story of one man saving the world. Well, Jesus has done something far better than that. He has taken the eternal punishment which we deserve for our sin and rebellion against God and has been punished in our place thereby granting us the gift of forgiveness. But, the only way we can receive this gift is if we turn from our sin in repentance and by faith are willing to receive God’s grace knowing that he loves us. If we do not seek Christ, we do not receive this blessing.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not trying to minimise the seriousness of the Coronavirus, but I am wanting to illuminate the devastating reality of sin. My prayer for our nation and for the world is for the safety of the vulnerable, that none should perish. But more than anything else, that God would use this virus to shake the world to its core and point us to a greater danger which is our sin and a greater vaccine which is Christ himself.
May God protect you all during the days, weeks and months to come.
Written by: Pastor Gwydion