With ever-growing concern over the rapid spread of the coronavirus, efforts are being made to track down “patient zero,” the first person to be infected. The hope is that finding that one individual will provide insights on everything from the exact cause of the illness to a potential cure or vaccine.
The identity of this particular individual may be unknown, but God spells out for us very clearly who the original patient zero is who brought sin and all its effects, including disease into the world. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
Adam is the original patient zero. His sin of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil spread and infected all of creation. “Cursed is the ground because of you” (Gen. 3:17). Adam’s sin has been passed down to every descendant. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). The fatality rate is 100%. “The wages of sin is death.” We were born into a dying world and dead in sin ourselves. No amount of scientific research, efforts at moral improvement or anything else human beings might attempt can provide a cure. It was a desperate and hopeless scenario.
That is, until God intervened with His grace and salvation in Jesus Christ. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Jesus is the one and only cure for all. He lived the perfect life we need to stand before the holy God. He took upon Himself the death we deserve. By His wounds we are healed. That’s the message of Lent. Jesus suffered the wrath of God in order to make peace with God for us.
As long as the earth stands we will suffer the consequences of sin such as viruses, violence, disappointment, pain, and physical death. But in all these things we have the comfort of knowing they are not punishments, for Jesus suffered the punishment for us. We have the reassurance that they are not permanent. We have the certain hope of far better things in the future. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
Today pray that the Lord will provide healing for all those infected by the coronavirus worldwide and that He will bring about a cure to prevent further infections. Above all, let’s praise Him for giving the world the cure for sin and the gift of eternal life through Jesus’ cross. May we cherish that gospel Word, gather around that Word tomorrow, and gladly offer it to all!
In Jesus’ name,
Tomorrow’s services are at the usual 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m. and adult Bible class at 9:45 a.m. We’ll begin Bible class by spending a few minutes discussing the take-away lessons from tragedies in the world such as the coronavirus and the mass shooting in Milwaukee a few days ago.