Christianity and theology

Three Things That COVID 19 Reminds Us About God and Life

Coronavirus has almost brought the world to a halt. Boarders and airports have shut down; schools and businesses have also closed down. There is fear and panic in many parts of the world and Malawi is no exception. Now how should we react or think of this disease which the World Health Organization has just declared a pandemic? I would like to point out three things that coronavirus should remind us of:

1. THE IMPACT OF SIN UPON CREATION
The impact of the fall (sin) upon creation is real. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned against God their sin had far more reaching effects than we often like to think. Death, diseases, germs (including coronavirus), and suffering are some of the consequences of the fall. We praise the Lord for man’s creativity and the strides that have been made in science, medicine, and technology. However, these advances can never erase the effects of the fall upon creation. Only Jesus Christ can. This is why Apostle Paul tells us that creation is groaning and waiting for its redemption in Christ (Romans 8:18-25). Indeed, a day is coming when Christ will usher in a new creation that will never be affected by sin, death, coronavirus, or any evil (Revelation 21:1-5).

2. THE BREVITY OF LIFE
Coronavirus should remind us how short our days are here on earth. Within a short period of time the virus has spread across the globe and claimed close to eight thousand lives. It is possible that it will claim more. When this year was beginning no one in Malawi ever imagined that three months down the line we would find ourselves preparing against the virus. By then it was only in Wuhan, China. Many thought it will end there. But now it threatens to claim your life and my life. The brevity of life should cause us to always be ready to meet our maker and judge. The psalmist was very insightful when he observed: “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am. Behold you have made my days a few handbreadths…Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath” (Psalm 39:4-6).

3. THE NEED TO TRUST GOD
But all is not dark and bleak. Jesus Christ calls us not to despair. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also,” (John 14:1-3).

“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus says. But you might ask: how can I be calm in the midst of a pandemic that is killing thousands? Jesus tells us how: by BELIEVING in God which also means believing in Christ for Christ is God.

• BELIEVE that Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for you, dear Christian. He fully knows what sin has done to this world. He doesn’t want us to live in this fallen world forever so he is preparing us a glorious home.

•. BELIEVE that Jesus is coming again to take you home where there is no coronavirus.

Although not mentioned in John 14:1, somewhere the Bible adds:

•. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ has overcome death. Corona virus can only kill the body but it can never separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. In fact, even though a Christian might die of the virus he/she shall still live (John 11:25).

•. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father praying for you (Romans 8:34) and nothing will happen to you without him sanctioning it. He is able to keep you and your loved ones safe through the pandemic.

•. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords who is in control of all the affairs of the world (Colossians 1:16-17). Even the coronavirus is his virus, and he is making it work for the good of his people (Romans 8:28).

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Christianity and theology

It is Finished: What Christ Accomplished for Us on the Cross

On a Friday like this one about 2000 years ago, Christ was hanged on the cross at about 9 O’clock in the morning (Mark 15:25). From noon to about 3pm, darkness engulfed the land and Christ bore the wrath of God on behalf of his people (Luke 23:44). Theologians call this penal substitution of vicarious atonement. As he who knew no sin became sin for us on that old rugged cross (2 Cor. 5:21), for first time in his life, he experienced a broken fellowship between him and his Father. As one hymn writer once put it, “the Father turned his face away.” And for first time in his life the Son could not call God the Father, “my Father.” The sense of abandonment was so huge that the Son cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Here one of the Christian Creeds, the Apostles creed, summarizes very well what Christ went through and calls it, hell- “He descended into hell.” It was hell that Christ suffered the last three hours of his life. Of course all his earthly life was marked by suffering but this was the climax of it all. And it was all for our sake. What amazing love! “Love so amazing so divine demands my life, my soul, my all.”

Then after paying the full penalty and drinking the cup of suffering to the final dregs and knowing that all was now finished, Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” It is done! Then he voluntarily gave up his life (for no one could take it from him) and said, “Father in your hand I commit my Spirit.” (Luke 23:46). These were the very last words of Christ on the cross!

That phrase, “It is finished,” is very powerful and means everything for every person who is in Christ.

  1.  It is finished: Expiation is done: By that we mean that Christ has taken away the guilt of our sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
  2. It is finished: Propitiation is done: By that we mean that Christ has fully appeased God’s wrath; therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 3:25-26; 8:1))
  3. It is finished: Reconciliation is done: By that we mean we have been reconciled to God and God has removed the enmity that existed between us and him (Col. 1:19-20; Romans 5:10-11).
  4. It is finished: Redemption is done: By that we mean Christ has paid his own life as a ransom to redeem us from the bondage of sin (1 Peter 1:18-19).
    5. It is finished: Conquest is done: By that we mean that Christ has conquered sin, Satan and death (Col. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15)

Friends, this is why the cross is everything for a Christian. This is why we ought to always preach Christ and him crucified.

God’s blessings in Christ as you meditate on what Christ has accomplished for us on the cross.

 

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