So I just recently came down with a case of the common cold. It sucks! Headaches, runny/blocked nose, sore/scratchy/itchy throat, dry cough, tiredness, aching body, restlessness… The whole “nine yards.”
Now, it occurs to me that I as an organism am weak, and am in need of all kinds of aid! I have cough lollies, bottles of water, tissues and warm clothes.
What if I were naked? Imagine yourself being outdoors in the cold, all sick and miserable.
The Gospel is a bit like that.
No, not the sickness! The cure! Human beings have a spiritual sickness — a soul-sickness — called sin. It is a debilitating illness which infects the whole person. It’s visible symptoms include such things as lust, anger, hatred, greed, blasphemy, spite, disunity, disloyalty, dishonesty, and a host of other ailments on individuals, couples and society.
But much unlike in any ordinary sickness like the common cold, the human person has no natural, built-in immune system to sin. For my common cold, there are signs that my body, by its powers, is fighting back (e.g. mucus). Eventually, (God willing), these natural forces will override the virus and I will be cured.
But there is no cure for the sickness of the soul. It is a deadly poison. A scripture well-known to Christians speaks about the sinfulness of the human heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says:
““The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?”
We’re sick! We need a cure. We can’t save ourselves. In fact, We are “dead in [our] sins” (Ephesian 2:1). Who, then, can save us from this body of death?! What, then, is the prophet’s answer? Jeremiah 17:10 says:
“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind…”
So it is the Lord God who both tests the heart and determines the cure. We Christians believe that the cure is found in the Christ. We’re spiritually sick, we need help, and God has given us the Saviour Jesus to take away our sins and heal us.
This reminds me of the conclusion Paul came to. Romans 7:24-25a says:
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Amen! How crazy it is not to take the Christ-cure for our soul-sickness of sin that leads to eternal death!