In a TV commercial years ago an actor proclaimed: “When you have your health, you have just about everything.” Many people think like that in our world. It’s understandable. When your body is hurting it affects your attitude and emotions. Some think if they can just protect their body and keep it healthy and pain-free, everything will be fine.
The coronavirus has swept over our world and done a lot of damage to many bodies. For those in our culture who only think of the physical it’s a scary time. Sadly many feel if they don’t have their health, they have nothing. They fear their physical health being taken away because they have nothing else to give them hope and security.
God created us as more than just physical beings. Our hope and meaning for life is not taken away if a virus attacks our body. Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more” (Luke 12:4). He follows that by saying the One who is to be feared is the One who determines our eternal destiny. A virus can only harm the body. It can’t kill the soul. Jesus is the Lord over both our body and soul.
We want bodies to be well. We pray for that and we serve one another and do what we can to help bodies to be healthy. We also want souls to be healthy. We care about the whole person as expressed in III John 2: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
Our society devotes vast amounts of time, energy and resources to making bodies well. Sadly, though, many give little attention to the health of their soul and the health of their relationship with God. Some bodies are hurting these days because of the coronavirus, but even more souls are in great pain and danger. People are being overtaken by fear and panic. Jesus is the One who can bring healing to hurting souls.
This time of year, as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are thankful that He knows better than any of us what it means to have a body that hurts. “Surely he took up our infirmities” (Isaiah 53:4). His body was crucified but risen again. He won the victory over death and lives forever. Because of His resurrection we no longer fear death. “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Corinthians 15:54-55).
When you have faith in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, then you have everything. Our bodies are temporary, earthly tents that get damaged and perish, but our souls are made alive in Christ. We have the great hope of one day receiving new pain-free bodies. Viruses and diseases come and go, but the love of Christ and the new life He gives remains forever.