For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one Man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17
Most people are aware that history has been shaped by the talents of special individuals.
All too often people forget that history has also been radically modified by diseases. The spread of bubonic plague, cholera, malaria, yellow fever and, most recently, influenza have all managed to decimate populations and change the face of nations -- and the history of the world.
This takes us to last month's emergency meeting of 11 countries, which was called by the World Health Organization. The subject of conversation was the recent and uncontained outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus. As of this writing, more than 400 people have died from the virus, which kills 79 percent of the people who become infected.
As one Doctors Without Borders official said, "This epidemic is out of control."
I hope he is wrong. If that disease were ever to reach the world's general populace, there is no telling how devastating it might be and the global damage it might do. Anyone who spends any time at all thinking about the potential prospects will find himself offering up numerous prayers and petitions, in which he asks the Lord's deliverance.
Of course, if we want to talk about plague, pestilence and mortality rates, we dare not forget the ravages of sin. It is hard to imagine there was a time when the world was a perfect place filled with perfect people. But then, through the willing disobedience of our first ancestors, that perfection was lost. Humanity disobeyed their Creator and death became our lot.
As Paul wrote to the Romans, "by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin" (see Romans 5:12).
Yes, the plague of death had been introduced into the world, and our future fate was sealed. Even today death remains a condition for which human resources and research can offer no hope. On our own we have been frustrated and helpless to find a cure from the condemnation that results from our many transgressions.
Thankfully, we are not on our own.
Seeing our sad and sorry situation, the Lord decided to do everything that was necessary to rescue us. To that end He sent His Son into this world. Here Jesus spent His life winning that cure that would prove to be 100 percent effective in saving those who had been infected by sin. When His work is placed within a sinful human heart, the healing is instant and complete.
Speaking of Jesus' cure, John wrote, "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (see 1 John 1:7).
Thank God it does!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks we who were once hopeless have been given hope; those who once were destined for death are given Jesus' blood-bought cure. May we always be thankful for this undeserved gift of life. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
The Savior asked His followers to share His story of salvation. Sadly, doing so can be frightening and intimidating. If you would like to learn how to be more comfortable in fulfilling the Lord's request, Lutheran Hour Ministries is holding a SENT Outreach Conference in Detroit, covering the dates of July 24-27. For more information, see www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries