There is one practice we all have in common today and that is washing our hands at regular intervals. Here in the United Kingdom our Government are making it abundantly clear that washing our hands regularly will help us avoid contracting Coronavirus and thus save lives. As a result, there has been a rush for soap, hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial cleaners - so much so, it is hard to find any left in the shops.
A climate of urgency, responsibility and, for many people, fear, has gripped the nations. Coronavirus is extremely contagious and has the capacity to take lives at an alarming rate. It is staggering that the world can be put into such a corporate shut down almost overnight. No-one imagined or conceived of such a thing happening. We were all carrying on with our lives in normal circumstances, celebrating various festivals, with the expectation of more to come.
Yet, out of the blue, we are faced with a death threat which, outside of scientific and medical help, has the capacity to kill millions of people. It does not respect borders, culture, age, experience, gender or intelligence. The world’s best brains and expertise are scrambling to produce an antidote – an injection which will beat the virus and stop it spreading.
As human beings, we are made with a body which can get sick, with souls which take in the world around us and with a human spirit which is eternal. It is our human spirit which extends life beyond the grave and currently we are watching a massive human effort to save life from the ultimate cliff edge.
God could not be speaking clearer than at this moment in world history! The real fear in people’s hearts is death and facing the unknown, losing control of life, being separated from our loved ones and, above all, facing our Maker. Listening to Creator God’s instructions could not be more important than it is today. The ultimate government is on His shoulders and it is His voice and word we need to save our life and that of others.
Thousands are scrambling to stay protected and clean so that they do not catch the virus. But what about the stain and sickness of sin? Have we given thought to the ramifications of an unclean and sinful heart? God’s Word is clear. We need forgiveness, we need a change of heart and for this we need His help, or else sin will spread like a cancer. Unless we are washed of sin’s stain by receiving forgiveness for our sins through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, we cannot be cleansed and enter the eternal home God has prepared for us. Instead, we will receive a living death. Jesus, and His shed blood, is the antidote for sin. He paid the price in His willing sacrifice of love on the cross. He offers free pardon and cleansing for all those who humble themselves and turn to Him.
To be washed and cleansed in the blood of Jesus is the best gift of healing we can ever receive. It gives us freedom from fear, a certain future, a place prepared where there will be no more tears and it gives us a relationship here on earth with the One who loves us more than anyone else possibly could.
Why would we be resistant to receiving His washing and cleansing? Maybe, in our pride, we think we can do it ourselves. Maybe the enemy of souls deceives us into covering up our shame and hiding it. Maybe we just ignore the need and conveniently forget that we are sinners in need. Maybe we just think it is a bit of magic disconnected from our heart condition and take it for granted.
One thing this virus has taught us is vigilance. Today, as we wash our physical hands and bodies, let us rejoice and give thanks to the Lord Jesus for His cleansing and forgiveness of our inner being, the gift of freedom from sin and the promise of eternal life. The Lord Jesus is the answer to the world’s greatest power of destruction – death, through having an uncleansed and unrepentant heart. The old chorus I sang in my youth expresses it so clearly: ‘Oh far whiter than the snow, washed in Jesus’ blood I know that from temper, anger, selfishness and pride He can keep me free today, if I look to Him and say, “Lord Jesus Thou hast died.”’
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me be constantly vigilant in my heart’s attitude towards sin and its dangers. Help me to keep on looking to You and to receive Your cleansing. Amen.
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