This month marks a shift that we have anticipated for a very long time. Death reigned until a vaccine provided protection. Those vaccinated still get infected, since we can’t eradicate the virus from the world in which we live, but it is not an infection that leads to death.
I touch on this watershed moment because of the parallels with the blood of Christ as our protection. The resurrection-ascension of Jesus Christ signalled the beginning of the end, so to speak. The New Testament teaches how Jesus brings new life and freedom to his followers. But this life and liberty is not seen in totality now. There is a not yet that we still await with hope.
Jesus came to bring life and liberty to a world that is under the power of sin and death. The Bible uses the dramatic language of being locked up and fearful of the last great enemy which is death. The pandemic has given this keen sense to many! Yet the Saviour’s gift of forgiveness and new life, at the cost of his own blood, means that we start a new life of joy and peace with God. Meanwhile we will still sin and our bodies still get sick and die. Without the blood of Christ to protect us we would face death with no hope. With Christ’s blood we are protected, but still fall into sin. On a future great day, the burden of sin will be lifted.
The analogy is weak and imperfect, since Jesus said that our sin comes from our hearts not from outside. But let’s hear the gospel truth: ‘For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience’ (Rom 8v22-25).
We are excited about our future freedom in this life. But I hope your excitement over the resurrection life is greater still!