The Case for God’s Love During the Pandemic
When a pandemic hits like Covid-19 or frankly anything deemed a crisis, many ask, “In the midst of a crisis like this, what proof is there God loves us?” God seems to stand there with his arms folded while hundreds, and in some cases like Covid-19, thousands die.
Many believers in Jesus Christ in answering that question start at the wrong place. They immediately cite the good things He has done for them and others – food for the next day, health and protection from harm, a roof over their head, a shirt on their back, and specific answers to specific prayers. The problem is what about those, particularly in other countries, who die of starvation, are victims of the disease, lie naked at night and have no shelter to escape the physical storms?
Please do not misunderstand me. In no way am I denying that whatever He gives us or does for us are tokens of His goodness. He constantly gives us good things we do not deserve. But what I am saying is that none of those are the ultimate proof that God loves us. None of those are the place we ought to start in answering the question, “What proof is there that God loves us?”
The place we ought to start goes back to something irrefutable and undeniable that has properly been called by many – the most significant event in history. It is the cross. One of the simplest and clearest verses of the Bible tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8)
God knew that before the sinner could be pardoned, the sin has to be punished. That meant that someone had to die because the punishment for sin is death. Romans 6:23 clearly tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” One sinner cannot take another sinner’s place any more than one murderer could die for another murderer through capital punishment. The only one who qualified was Jesus Christ, God‘s perfect Son.
Think of the alternatives for a moment. God could have allowed every sinner to die for his own sin in eternal separation from God. God could have prevented Him from going to the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knowing the anguishing death He would face for our sin prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me, nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus Christ Himself could have refused to die as our substitute. He declared, “Therefore my Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received of my Father.” (John 10: 17-18) Instead Jesus Christ died the cruelest death anyone could suffer and died as our substitute, taking the punishment that we as sinners deserved. His resurrection the third day proved that God had accepted what His Son did on our behalf as a total and complete payment for our sins. God now had a basis on which He could pardon us instead of punishing us.
Think about it for a moment. Someone could say to you, “I love you. Here, you can have my house.” How do you know he does not have ten houses and parting with one is no problem? Someone could say to you, “I love you. Here is a million dollars.” How do you know she is not a multi-millionaire, and parting with one million of that presents no problem? A father of four loves each one in a special way. But if he gave one of them to die in your place, there are three remaining to console him in his grief, even though that one child can never be replaced. God said something to us bigger than all that. “I love you. Here is my Son.” A Son altogether perfect, not deserving of death, the only Son He had.
Now think also of this. Suppose someone committed a crime worthy of death. That someone happened to be your best friend. Suppose the government had a policy that if a friend was willing, he could take the criminal’s place on death row. Would you do that for a best friend let alone someone who was not as close to you? Most of us if we were honest would answer, “No”. Yet God did for us what we would find difficult to do for another. With that in mind, God has more reason to question our love than we ever have to question His.
How do we know God loves us regardless of what we pass through, when we pass through it, or how severe it is? The proof is the cross. There in an undeniable, irrefutable way God said, “I LOVE YOU!” Case closed!
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