(March 16, 2020) Hope Flinchbaugh shares encouragement in these days of virus panic…
Daily news from around the world regularly reports people panicking over the COVID-19 virus… the resultant sicknesses, deaths, sports events and shows being cancelled, businesses closing, insufficient stocks of various essential and other grocery items in stores… and more.
For Christians it’s a time not to be panicking but to recall we have protection as we trust in Jesus our redeemer and his power. And as I do so afresh I’m reminded of something that happened back in 2002.
I had accompanied my father – Reverend Glenn Keenan – on one of his missionary trips, this time to China. In meetings arranged by my dad I would play the piano and sing.
One evening Dad drew this chalk picture for the Chinese people.
As Dad drew the picture I played and sang, then he spoke on its meaning. These are the Chinese characters (pictures really) for the word ‘redeemed.’ The characters mean ‘Lamb over me’ – the top is a lamb and the bottom character translates ‘me.’
Isn’t that beautiful? ‘The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, over me.’ Jesus is over every Christian!
Power in the blood of Christ
Just as we left China in October 2002, the SARS epidemic broke out – face masks everywhere, panic setting in.
Hong Kong’s Pastor Kathy Balcombe had my dad’s chalk drawing ‘picture’ and, holding it up in one of the Chinese house churches, told everyone to remember the power of the blood of Jesus to protect and keep them. Not one person in that church died of SARS.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines ‘redeem’ as:
1. To buy back; repurchase
2. To free from what distresses or harms us.
Jesus Christ is our redeemer and there is power in the cross on which he died to redeem us. There is power in the shed blood of Jesus the Lamb to redeem us all.
In the current worldwide coronavirus panic situation, let’s look again to the cross of Jesus and to the power of our Redeemer, the one who can free us from whatever stresses that threaten to harm us!
The Lamb of God over us! Our Lord desires to redeem all humankind from sin and free us from what distresses us or tries to harm us. (Can I get a resounding ‘amen’ somebody?) God loves us so much!
We have a Redeemer, but…
I would ask you, dear reader –
- Is the Lamb, Jesus Christ, ‘over you’?
- Have you trusted Jesus as your redeemer
- Are you letting him free you from every distress or whatever seeks to harms you?
I hope you will be encouraged by my dad’s chalk picture and share it to encourage your friends to trust in a power more forceful and impacting than the coronavirus, SARS, and any other epidemic known to humankind.
If we think of the Passover Lamb (and it’s almost that time of year – Pesach!), we recall that Israelites killed a lamb and sacrificed it, ate portions of it, and brushed blood on the top and sides of the door (Exodus 12:7).
Moses told them to do this so when the angel of death passed over Egypt, death would ‘pass over’ that household and they’d be protected. Meaning, no harm would come to that house (Exodus 12:23NIV ‘spared our homes’; NLT ‘spared our families’).
Even the strokes on the doorway remind us of the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, who redeemed us so that eternal death would pass over us, or pass by us (John 3:16).
May we always remember that Jesus our Redeemer is always there for us and is able to bring us safely through everything that seeks to harm us. Let’s be wise and pray… pray against this latest virus. Pray for ourselves and pray for others!
- David declared God’s love in Psalm 31:22NLT– ‘In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.’
- In Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9, Jesus warned that the day would come when we would hear of matters that would disturb us and his direction in the NLT version was ‘don’t panic.’
- And Paul wrote encouragingly in 1 Corinthians 15:57, ‘But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’
DAUGHTER OF CHINA (Daughter of China Series, Novel 1)
Like young women everywhere, Mei Lin longs for an education, a career – even love. But the system she lives in doesn’t tolerate religious belief, and Mei Lin’s faith is as profound as it is simple. Must she abandon her beliefs to have the life she’s dreamed of? This Catherine Marshall Christy Award of Excellence in 2003 will linger in the mind long after the last page has been read. Link: www.HopeEditors.com