The past few weeks have been nothing short of unprecedented, both here in the United States, and across the world. The effects of Covid-19 on society have been massive as "social distancing," has become common place. Schools have closed, church gatherings have ceased, and businesses have all but shut down, as unemployment has skyrocketed. Covid-19 has now become part of our lexicon. We are regularly inundated with statistics about new positive tests, and rising death tolls every time we turn on the television.
So what is Covid-19 exactly?
The Center for Disease Control describes Covid-19 as a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients who have Covid-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The most severe cases have even resulted in multi-organ failure and death. The virus is certainly more contagious than the common flu, and in some cases, far more severe.
It is important to note that Covid-19, just as any other illness or malady, is a constant reminder of the world’s broken state. The very moment that sin entered the world, it's effects were immediately felt by humanity. Genesis 3 details how both man and woman went from a perfect form, to one that experienced pain, toil, and hardship. While woman was cursed to experience pain in labor, man was cursed to experience pain by the work of his hand. As sickness and disease followed, they were only the beginning, as an eternity apart from God was the ultimate consequence of sin.
So where does the Christian find hope?
What’s comforting is that the bible makes no illusions about our mortality. A physical death is not only inevitable, it is to be expected. Fathers of the faith like Abraham experienced a physical end just as much as the most villainous characters of the bible. In regards to our eternity though, the bible is clear that apart from the intervention of God, we are in fact, hopeless. The bible describes salvation as a gracious gift through Christ Jesus. By putting on the righteousness afforded to us by Christ, we are counted as redeemed. 1st Corinthians paints the picture beautifully in the following verse:
“For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in the victory.” - 1 Corinthians 15:53-54
Though our earthly bodies will continue to be susceptible to this virus, and any new ailment that comes down the pipeline, we find peace in the fact that we as Christians have been clothed with something that is imperishable. Yes, this flesh will diminish in strength and eventually wither away, but we who have put on immortality through Christ Jesus have been reconciled to God, and have a hope beyond this world. Our hope is alive and well, and that is something no virus can take away.