If there is one word that defines humanity at the present time, it would be “fearful.” The novel coronavirus is currently terrorizing the entire world. Nearly half of humanity is confined within their homes and apartments, hoping they won’t be added to the statistics that are tracking the deadly wake of COVID-19. As I’m writing this, there have been about 1.5 million confirmed cases worldwide. 85,000 people have died so far. There will undoubtedly be tens of thousands of additional deaths.
Of course, we all know we’re going to die someday. Most of us, however, don’t want to die soon. Life is good enough to want to preserve it. And what happens after death is a big question mark for many. So, is there a sure way to escape the threat of the coronavirus?
Let’s start by first considering your odds of being infected by COVID-19. To date, only 0.018 % of the world’s population has been confirmed as contracting the virus. That is less than 2/100ths of 1 percent. Odds are looking very good that you are either not going to be infected, or if you are infected, you will either have no symptoms or mild symptoms.
Moreover, the majority who contract COVID-19 don’t die. Rather, the large majority recover. And to date, only 0.0011 % of the world’s population has died from the coronavirus. That is 1/1,000th of 1 percent. Multiplied more people have died from many other medical conditions since the coronavirus made its debut in China back in December. Statistically, you should be much more concerned about dying from heart disease or cancer than COVID-19.
Still, there remains a slight chance of your dying from the coronavirus. Is there a way to reduce or even eliminate the slim odds that are against you? I believe there is, and it is based on this simple logic: If God exists, then He must be powerful enough to prevent COVID-19 from harming you. So the key to avoiding any chance of contracting COVID-19 is to figure out how to motivate God to protect you. (Pretty simple!)
Digging a Little Deeper
It is, of course, very reasonable to believe there is a Creator whose intelligence and power far surpass that of any other being. Just as my wristwatch is evidence of a watchmaker, so the creation is evidence of the Creator.
God’s creation is marvelous and mysterious, and science has only scratched the surface of discovering its secrets. Surely the God who created and placed 200 billion to two trillion galaxies in our universe is powerful enough to prevent you from contracting COVID-19! In fact, the hundreds of thousands of infected people who have already recovered—due to the amazing God-created resistance their bodies have marshaled against it—are proof that God is more powerful than the coronavirus. If you do contract COVID-19, the chances are very good that, through the incredible immune system God gave your body, He is going to heal you.
Of course, everyone who has died of COVID-19 had a God-given immune system that didn’t succeed in fighting off the virus. The majority were elderly, immunocompromised, or had some underlying health problem. Those kinds of people are more susceptible to just about every other disease as well, and many more people in those weakened categories have succumbed to other diseases during the death-span of the coronavirus. So, I hope what I’ve written so far has given most readers some sense of hope that they aren’t going to die from COVID-19. Yet, I realize there is still a remote chance of death. And the only way to eliminate that chance is to figure out how to motivate God to protect you.
A Similar Situation
There is a familiar story in the Bible of the exodus of the people who were descended from Israel, who had been living as slaves in Egypt for centuries. God called Moses to lead them out of Egypt to the Promised Land, and to that end He sent many warnings and plagues upon the slave-oppressing Egyptians. Their leader, Pharaoh, however, hardened his heart. Finally, God warned of a culminating plague that would result in the death of every firstborn son in Egypt. God knew that severe judgment would motivate the Egyptians to release the Israelites from their captivity, allowing them to journey to the Promised Land.
Right before that terrible judgment, God instituted a new, annual festival for the people of Israel that He called Passover. Every Israelite family was instructed to kill a one-year-old lamb at dusk, and put some of its blood above the doorway of their house. God promised:
For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt (ex. 12:12-13).
God’s message was clear. It was not just all the firstborn of Egypt who deserved to die. Actually, all the firstborn of Israel also deserved to die, but they would be spared God’s wrath because a lamb had died as their substitute. God kept His promise. Later that night, there was weeping in every Egyptian home, while at the same time, there was relief and rejoicing in every Israelite home.
Of course, thinking people wonder how a lamb could possibly atone for the sins of a human being. How much could a sheep or goat be worth compared to that of a human being, created in God’s image? There is really no value comparison. Which is why the Bible reveals that the Passover lambs—slaughtered over the centuries by Jewish people—only served as symbols of someone whose inestimable value qualified Him to atone for the sins of an unlimited number of sinners. That person was Jesus, the eternal Son of God.
That is why John the Baptist introduced Jesus to his disciples by saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
That is why the apostle Paul referred to Jesus as “Christ our Passover” (1 Cor. 5:7).
That is why Jesus is repeatedly referred to in the book of Revelation as “the Lamb” (see Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 7:17; 14:10; 15:3; 19:9; 21:23; 22:1; 22:3).
That is why Jesus, according to the predestined plan of God, was providentially crucified during the Passover Festival in Jerusalem in AD 33. Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples was a Passover meal.
And that is why Jews celebrate Passover during the same time that Christians all over the world celebrate Good Friday and Jesus’ resurrection.
The modern coronavirus is certainly somewhat analogous to Egypt’s final plague, in that it was a sign of God’s wrath by means of the deaths of many, but also a sign of God’s mercy in that it didn’t kill everyone. Yet there was one group that was 100% certain the deadly plague would not strike the firstborn in their households. They were the Israelites who had applied the blood of the lamb above their doors. The deadly plague passed over them because they believed the good news God had told them through Moses, and they acted on their faith. Had any Israelite family not smeared lamb’s blood over their door, they would have lost their firstborn that dreadful night.
Will Jesus Protect Believers from Plagues?
While all professing Christians agree that the death of one-year-old lambs during the first Passover provided protection from a deadly plague, not all agree that the death of the One who was foreshadowed by all those Passover lambs provides protection for believers from modern plagues. Yet their Bibles declare in Isaiah 53 that Jesus not only “bore their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11), but He similarly “bore their sicknesses” (Isa. 53:4; see also Matt. 8:17). David wrote, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Ps. 103:2-3). One-tenth of all that was written about Jesus in the four Gospels concerns His healing ministry. The apostle James, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, wrote that the “prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick” (Jas. 5:14-15).
Beyond those things, there are scores of applicable promises in the Bible that are just waiting to be believed, such as:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation (Ps. 91, emphasis added).
Oh, that we who profess to believe in Jesus would show at least the same respect for God’s promises as we do for a virus that has little chance of killing most of us—even apart from our lack of faith!
And if we can learn anything from scores of stories in the Bible that unmistakably teach us that God is moved by faith, then we must agree that faith is the secret to motivating God to protect you, or heal you. Only believe!
Something Worse than COVID-19
Finally, there is something even worse than the coronavirus, something that is much more important to escape, something foreshadowed by the coronavirus. That something is the future wrath of God. Because He is perfectly just, God promises that every person will one day be repaid “according to their deeds,” which is a dreadful thing if you’ve ever sinned:
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds (Matt. 16:27).
The only way to escape the fate we all deserve is through Jesus, who died on the cross carrying our sins. He has promised that anyone who will repent of their sins and become His believing follower will be forgiven and escape God’s coming wrath:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged” (John 3:16-18a).
Although most of us will escape death from the coronavirus, none of us are going to ultimately escape death, and death is always followed by a judgment (see Heb. 9:27). Don’t wait to get ready! Get ready now! Repent, and believe in Jesus! Become His faithful follower! —David