Where will the vaccine come from which will spell the end of this powerfully infectious Covid-19? Once it has been discovered life can return to normal, back to the life we had before all our previous problems were overshadowed by the pandemic.
Remember those problems, climate change, corruption, greedy business leaders, mental despair, broken relationships, envy, violence, bullying. Where is the vaccine to solve these human problems?
The Sydney radio commentator Alan Jones recently retired after broadcasting for 35 years, for 30 weeks per year, roughly 5000 daily programmes and each dealing with some new problem. All those problems spring from the fact that people are driven by selfishness, self-assertiveness, self-adulation and self-importance. On one occasion Jones said, ‘this is a mongrel world, who has any answers?’
The first century people of Corinth faced the same kinds of problems we face and believed, like us, that if humans caused the problems then humans can solve the problems. They looked for answers from the street corner orators, philosophers sprouting the latest new ideas.
But the Apostle Paul said the answer is not within us, this vaccine will never have a human origin. In fact, he said, the world’s wisdom is bankrupt, it doesn’t work, it is not consistent with reality and it doesn’t change people. Rather the only vaccine which is effective, comes from God, it has been revealed!
The wisdom from God is the Cross of Jesus, which turns the world’s understanding of reality, upside down. The Bible says we will never understand the way life is to work, apart from understanding God and you will never understand God apart from understanding Jesus and you will never understand Jesus apart from understanding the Cross. The cross is the key to understanding reality.
The cross is the wisdom of God; it reveals the God who is there and who takes sin seriously. The cross reveals God’s justice is, he hates sin and the effects it has on his world and declares that sin will reap the ultimate penalty of death.
But the cross also reveals that God is a God of love and loves us enough to satisfy his own justice in the offering up of his only Son, the Lord Jesus. The cross is not only the wisdom of God but is also the power of God, it changes people, it doesn’t make people perfect but it at last delivers people from the persistent tyranny of sin in their lives.
The Cross is God’s revealed vaccine, and it is taken when a person recognises that what Jesus did there 2000 years ago, he did as our substitute, to pay the penalty, not for his own sin, since he had none, but due to my sin. But he was also my representative as well, so that his cross is mine, when he died, I died also to the old self-sufficient, self-centred me.
Apparently the most common song at funerals these days is Sinatra’s, ‘I did it my way’. But see where that has got us! Much more apt is Watt’s: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross…
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small,
love, so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all’.
He gave his life for me, the life I have I live for him. That is the power of the cross and Paul could point to Christians in Corinth as proof that the cross is the effective vaccine.
(Read Paul’s words referred to above: 1 Corinthians 1:17-31; Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15).