A particularly relevant question in times like this – Does God heal all diseases? We are very concerned about this right now. And rightly so. There is a pandemic spreading across the world in a way one only reads about in history books. The accommodations humanity is making for one another to ensure total safety and security is admirable. Yet, one thing rings true as we face this terrible disease known as ‘COVID-19’ – only a healing on the surface, of the body, scratches the surface of what humanity really needs – a healing of the soul.
WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE
One one hand, we’ve been here before. In an excellent and poignant sermon at Grace Church of Stamford, we were reminded of Levitical priestly standards regarding cleanliness, and instructions in dealing with diseases and outbreaks. Truth be told, ‘social distancing’ is about a 5000 year old idea. Does it surprise us that the same medical protocols still apply today as they did when Moses was high priest over Israel? They shouldn’t because the reality is – we are still as vulnerable to sickness and disease today as our forefathers were when they roamed through the desert for 40 years.
But protocols and practices in managing diseases was only part of the priestly duty both of Moses and Jesus. Jesus completed what Moses could never do – he drew near the sick and physically, literally healed them. More than that – Jesus himself forgave sins, thus providing a cleansing at the level of the soul.
THE DISEASE OF SIN
Sin is a disease of the soul. Thinking of sin as a disease is an apt metaphor especially when trying to explain the concept of sin to an unbeliever, especially now. Everyone clearly understands how COVID-19 must be avoided or else it could cost one’s life. Yet, what we don’t realize or often forget, sin is much, much worse. In fact, the disease of sin has already rendered its penalty – death. I may not die of COVID-19, but I will die someday. The reason I am going to die is because of the disease of sin.
1 Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. [Psa 103:1-5 ESV]Blue Letter Bible
DAVID LOOKS TO JESUS
Like David, we look to God for protection from diseases…diseases like COVID-19; yet like David, we must look to God who forgives all your iniquity and redeems your life from the pit. How interesting what David describes next – “…who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”
This is a foretaste of the promise of eternal life we have in Heaven. To say another way – disease may kill your body, and even if you live many years but remain unforgiven and your iniquities not dealt with, you will still die. For the one whose sins are forgiven, even if they die by diseases like COVID-19, they will live even though they die. And when they live in glory, their youth will be renewed like eagles because God crowns those in glory with steadfast love and mercy. We take this to mean that God’s steadfastness of mercy and love is that which endures and sustains us unto eternal life beyond the grave.
DISEASES MAKES US LOOK TO HEAVEN
If I may be crass, there is a silver lining to COVID-19. The silver lining is this: It reminds me how Earth is not my home, that I was made for a better place, a place where there will be no more sickness and disease, a place where my youth will be eternally renewed like the eagles. The more I meditate on Heaven, the more I can’t wait to drop these ‘grave clothes’ which bind me every day. And so, the more I think about the disease of COVID-19, the more it makes me look to Heaven, where Christ is seated. Until then, may we worship him with faithfulness.