Appeared in December 2020 edition
Let us imagine that this Christmas a Covid vaccine was released that was not only free but that those that took it said was 100% effective and lasted your whole lifetime. If you took it, you would never test positive and you would never sicken or die of Covid-19. You might get a few symptoms – a cough or a bit of chest pain – but you would never get the disease.
Would you take it?
I saw a survey recently that said only 46% of people would take a vaccine that the US hope to release before the end of the year. Now although that is different from our imaginary scenario, the results highlight at least two things.
Firstly, that even if a remedy is available, you have to choose to take it. Just the fact that it exists is not enough to cure you.
Secondly, that taking it requires an act of faith on your part – that you believe the vaccine will do what it says it will and not do other things that might harm you.
So, you have to believe and you have to act on that belief.
Sin is a much more deadly disease than Covid-19. It will destroy your life much more comprehensively and will definitely kill you, even if it takes 80 or 90 years. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death” – physical death and, even more terrifyingly, the second, spiritual death in hell.
That verse goes on to say, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus has made available a remedy – salvation through belief in His debt-paying death on the cross and death-defying resurrection from the grave.
We have to choose to take the bitter pill of repentance – admitting we do, think and believe wrongly and want God to wash that away and help us to do, think and believe correctly.
And that takes faith – we have to believe that Jesus can save us from sin and hell, and that giving our lives over to Him will not harm us but heal us.
Those who have taken the salvation cure for sin testify that it is life-changingly effective. Their lives go from dark to light, the weight of their burdens falls away, joy floods their beings and they experience a deep peace. Their problems don’t all melt away but they do have new strength to deal with them.
Christmas 2020 may be very strange, with perhaps travel disruptions, separated family and financial constraints like never before, but it could also be the richest and best of your whole life, if you embrace the sin-cure represented by the baby in the nativity and have faith for the eternal inoculation from sin that He offers.