Imagine the threat of a dangerous disease. Imagine the anxiety about becoming infected, the constant stress eating away at you. Imagine what it could do to your family, what it would do to your social life. Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Imagine contracting that dangerous disease, not knowing for several days. Imagine attending work, kissing your loved ones. You wake up struggling to breathe. The doctors run tests and the results come back – positive. Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Picture yourself alone, not having seen friends or family for weeks. Questions plague you – how many people have you infected? Will you recover? The threat of death haunts you each second of each day. Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Now imagine a man who holds out hope. A man who can heal you instantly, comfort you with a touch without any risk of infection to himself. This man just speaks a few words and you’re healed. Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Imagine that man caring about your eternal health. This man sees your sinful heart and he cares about it, your real problem. Imagine that man dying in your place. Imagine that man conquering death. He offers you eternal life. Imagine that man! Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Imagine living in a world where death has been conquered, your heart can be made clean, and a new life can be written for you. Imagine being adopted into God’s family, having a certain future, and the confidence to confront death because you are safe with God.
You don’t need to imagine because that is the world that we live in. The most terrible disease has a vaccine. Jesus has conquered death. He offers us life. Jesus shed his blood to make us clean.
Read these passages from Mark’s Gospel:
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40–42)
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:10–12)
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”… For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:33–34, 45)
Jesus physically healed people because he was concerned for the sick. But more than that, he has the power to forgive sin, our greatest disease. Jesus can forgive because he died, giving up his life as a ransom for many. He can give life to those who follow him because he himself rose from the dead.
Maybe you are anxious. Maybe you have been infected. Or maybe you feel isolated. You can know with confidence that Jesus holds out a certain future. He makes you clean and brings you into God’s forever-family.
Will you follow him? Will you stop running away from God? Instead, will you run to Jesus and be washed by him? Will you believe that he has conquered death and holds out life? Will you trust him?
Imagine having the hope of eternal life with God. Can you imagine? Maybe you don’t have to.
Angus Martin is a redeemed son of God, husband to Olivia, and father of some wonderful kids. He is committed to biblical ministry and faithful evangelism because he longs to see people saved. He loves escaping the concrete jungle of Sydney as much as possible.
This article will also be published with the Australian Church Record.