It’s a strange time to be celebrating Easter. We would normally be enjoying the long weekend near water or sun, spending time with our friends and extended families, and gathering in our local churches.
Instead, for the most part, we will be bunkered down inside our houses, seeking safety from a deadly virus that has spread around the globe.
And yet, even in a lockdown, the message of Easter can’t be silenced.
See, what we are depending on to end this crisis is a vaccine. Social distancing has slowed the spread of COVID-19, especially here in Australia. But until and unless there is a vaccine, experts warn that most of us will likely be infected. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that there are many vaccines being developed. You might have heard that Bill Gates has even pledged to build factories to mass-produce seven candidate vaccines while they are still being trialled. He knows he will waste billions of dollars on the failed vaccines, but if just one works, his eccentric undertaking will save precious time and countless lives.
How does this relate to Easter? Humanity’s most pressing need right now might seem like a coronavirus vaccine. But in fact, our greatest need is and always has been a spiritual vaccine.
The truth is that ten out of ten people die. There is no escaping this. After death, Romans 14:10-12 warns, “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God,” and “each of us will give a personal account to God.”
As descendants of the first human couple—Adam and Eve—we have inherited their fallen, sinful nature. Each of us born into the human family has a natural inclination to live selfishly. This hurts others, but most of all it hurts and offends the God who created us.
Sin is like a disease; a deadly infection that leads unstoppably to death. “The wages of sin is death,” declares Romans 6:23. Our only hope for life after death is a spiritual vaccine.
Easter is that event on the Christian calendar celebrating the arrival of our vaccine. Good Friday is good, Hebrews 2:9 tells us, because on the cross, Jesus “suffered death for us” and “tasted death for everyone.” He surrendered Himself to be infected with humanity’s sin-disease.
To onlookers, Jesus’ death would have seemed like foolishness and defeat. But three days later, on Easter Sunday, Jesus cheated death. To everyone’s surprise, He walked out of His grave. Defeating sin, Jesus rose again with perfect immunity to pass on to us.
At Easter, Jesus offers us His immunity. When we put our faith in Him, we are vaccinated against our sin and all of its shame and guilt. We become immune to judgment and death, and best of all, we are promised eternal life with God.
Believing in Jesus won’t necessarily protect us from all of life’s troubles—even coronavirus. But when we put our faith in Jesus, He sets us free from the fear of death; He fills our lives with new joy and eternal purpose, and He enables us to put our selfishness aside to live fully for God and for the benefit of others.
Will you choose the vaccination that Jesus offers?
If so, tell Him now. Pray something like this from your heart:
Dear God, I realise that I have been sick with sin. I have turned away from You and lived for myself. I know that I deserve Your judgment. But now I am turning back to You. I believe that Jesus has died for me and risen again. I trust that He has forgiven my sin and brought me new life. I give myself to You, Father, and I choose to live for You and others instead of myself. Thank You for opening my eyes to the true meaning of Easter.