March 14, 2020

The Original Pandemic

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 14, 2020

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Romans 5:12-13

In many ways, we live in a society that is built upon the foundation of individual responsibility. Whoever you are and will become, for good or evil, is entirely up to you and on your shoulders to create. If you want a better future, just go out and get it! And yet, if we stop and think a bit deeper, we must realize that in countless ways, there are forces at work in our world that are simply beyond our control. For example, there is a collective force behind the powers of racial or economic inequality, and these are real and powerful, irrespective of anything you or I have personally done. And while these problems and countless others are significant and need to be addressed, according to Paul, there’s an even deeper, more fundamental sickness that infects the heart of every human soul: sin.

In Romans 5, by pointing our attention back to the sin of Adam, Paul invites us to reflect on the fundamental brokenness in our world, what’s often referred to as “original sin.” In so doing, I think Paul is less focused on the idea that you and I are somehow personally responsible for Adam’s sin, but instead, he is making a statement about the nature of the world into which we are born. As a result of human sin and rebellion, there is not a single part of creation that is left unaffected by the disease of sin.

Sin reminds us that the world is not as it is meant to be. We live in a world that suffers under the weight of sin and death. Left to ourselves, we are bent towards death, moving towards chaos and away from God’s good ordering and faithful flourishing of his creation. 

Sin is a pandemic more ancient and foundational than the deadliest virus or flu. Everyone is infected, and there is nothing in and of yourself that you can do to heal yourself. Every effort to rid ourselves of the disease will only leave us weary and wounded, like Eustace trying to shed his beastly dragon scales in his own strength. And yet, as Paul reminds us, “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15).

As certain as we are about the sickness of sin, we are much more certain of the healing medicine of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our Lord sees us in our sick and feeble condition, and moves towards us with love and deep compassion. Therefore, in our pain and sorrow we are always people of unshakable hope and joy! As Julian of Norwich said, “Sin is the cause of all this pain, but all manner of things shall be well.”

Prayer

Father, thank you that your mercy is greater than all of our sin and shame, and that you are at work healing and restoring all that is sick and broken in our lives and in our world. Amen.


Application

Allow the goodness of God and his healing grace to free you today from all fear and anxiety.


Related Reading

Psalm 103:10-14; Hebrews 8:12; 1 John 1:9


Post/Tweet today

Sin is a pandemic more ancient and foundational than the deadliest virus or flu. #sin #WisdomHunters #Jesus #truth


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