A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be Clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Mark 1:40-42
Along with many of you, Matt and I keep watching news updates on the coronavirus. Currently if people have even been near where the coronavirus is they are asked to self quarantine. Healthcare workers have to dress head to toe in infectious disease gear. People are fearful about this disease. People are hurting. People are dying.
As I see videos and images of healthcare workers with their isolation gear on and patients being isolated I keep thinking about the above scripture where Jesus had an encounter with a man with leprosy. In particular I keep thinking about verse 41. “Jesus was indignant. He reached out and touched the man.” Jesus being full of compassion for this man did the UNTHINKABLE. He reached out and touched the man. The man was in isolation and sick.
Here we see a glimpse at so much about Jesus. Jesus has authority over every cell in our body. Jesus has compassion for the sick. Jesus meets the heart needs. Imagine a man who society outcasts and isolates and Jesus reaches out and touches him. Imagine the greater heart need of loneliness that Jesus met here!
Let me flip this now. Imagine someone willingly reaching out and touching someone with the coronavirus and doing so while not wearing protective medical gear and then not running and washing their hands afterwards. No, one would do such a thing willingly. We know that we may indeed catch the virus ourself and spread it to others if we were to do that. I am all about the hand sanitizer and elbow bumps right now! People wash your hands!
Stay with me. Let’s take this further. Imagine someone not just touching someone with the coronavirus, imagine someone actually stepping in and touching death for someone else in their place. This someone has a name and His name is Jesus. Jesus, the eternal Son of God who has always existed with the Father in glory, came down to His creation and put on skin becoming fully man so he could touch death for all. He walked in skin going through everything that you and I do. His body was subject to weakness just like our bodies are in every way. He was tempted by the enemy in every way that you and I are but Jesus was without any sin. Let these words from Hebrews chapter 2 sink in.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
Here we see Jesus had to touch our human nature so he could die to make atonement for sin for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Jesus did the unthinkable.
Currently the death rate they are saying for those with the coronavirus is somewhere around 3%. There are many unknowns about this disease still so they aren’t sure yet what it really is and it has us all in a panic! However, there is a death rate that we do know the percentage rate of and that is the death rate of being a human being. It is at 100% right now. We all know that there is nothing that we can do to outrun death. We can try but at some point death takes us all.
BUT. THERE IS HOPE. HIS NAME IS JESUS. Jesus put on a body sharing in our humanity so he could touch death and He defeated it. Death has been swallowed up in victory and has no sting. This Easter season and everyday look to Jesus Christ the Risen Lord and King. Jesus came for the sick sinner and has made the way for all to be healed from every tribe, nation, and tongue. For one to be healed though they have to hear about the cure to death and turn to Him for help!
I’ll end with the words of Jesus:
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26