I think I’ve given up on FaceBook. Probably not permanently, but definitely until I can open up the app without having literally all of my feed be about the Coronavirus. From the toilet paper crisis, to the impending and inevitable spread of the virus across Australia, I’m honestly exhausted by the constant news cycle, and frankly even the memes that attempt to lift spirits during this epidemic.
So, don’t worry. This won’t be a typical update on the Coronavirus. Instead, I think it makes for a great launching off point to think about another virus and an interesting paradox that applies to our everyday life.
THE FERMI PARADOX
When you look up at the night sky and you see the stars and the seemingly infinite corners of space, one can often think if we are truly alone in the universe. Scientist Enrico Fermin had a similar thought, except he realised one huge problem: if we weren’t the only ones in this universe, how was it that we had never come into contact with another alien species?
Outer space is so vast and expansive, with so many different stars and planets which hypothetically could sustain life, and yet humanity has never been visited by an extraterrestrial civilization. Probability states that humans in their history must have been contacted by aliens, and yet they never have. It’s a complete paradox.
Of course, many have sought to discover the answer to this puzzling conundrum. Perhaps alien life is incredibly rare, or if they do exist, they are not intelligent enough to create space travel. Perhaps these alien civilizations became so advanced that they destroyed themselves in some sort of global conflict on a massive scale. Even more frightening is the possibility that they have decided to use their advanced weaponry against us, and are simply waiting for the opportune moment to attack. It could be that the answer is as simple as extraterrestrials have no desire to explore or to live on other planets.
Maybe the earth is a sort of experiment that people look in on and observe, then one might say that the earth is intentionally isolated. It could also be that as aliens look at the problems of our planet, they realise it is much to dangerous to communicate with us, and for their own safety remain distant. All of these theories are intriguing to think about, but only one answer is true.
Earth has a virus. No, not the Coronavirus. One much worse. This virus has killed millions if not billions of people throughout all of human history. For thousands of years it has rampaged and ravaged through relationships, homes, communities, and even countries. It has been the source of all violence, hatred, selfishness, and pain in this world: sin.
Sin affects everything. Put simply, it is any deviation from the perfect Law of Love of God. It doing evil instead of good. It is neglecting to do the right thing. It is both intentional and willful actions, and the common mistakes we make that hurt others.
Sin is also a state of being. As humans we are born into sin, with a propensity to do the wrong thing rather than that which is right. Our moral compass is broken, and even if we know the right direction to go, we often don’t follow it. Nature itself is in a state of sin; violence, disease, and natural disasters, marring the original beautiful design of God.
Sin is our unhealthy addictions and obsessions that we become enslaved to, and desperately want to let go but cannot live without. Sin is the guilt, shame, and depression we struggle to bear that is burdened upon us. Sin is a taste and a craving for thing that we know only do us harm, and yet we continually throw ourselves into with the same painful outcomes.
Sin is the root cause of every negative impulse, every unfair action, and every tear shed in history.
Why has no one ever contacted humanity? We are under quarantine for the most severe outbreak of the world’s deadliest disease ever. It is far too dangerous to come into contact with us, but the universe watches on expectantly to see the outcome of this epidemic, and to see whether this virus can ever truly be defeated.
Whatever antidote would be required to defeat the sin virus, it would have to undo all of the negative effects it has caused. Humans have tried countless times to counteract the effects of sin, and yet failed continuously. There is only one hope for the human race: that the all-powerful and all-loving God of the universe, intervene in our epidemic, and come down himself into the quarantine zone.
As Jesus took upon human flesh, he gave up the incredible beauty and privileges of Heaven, a realm free of pain and suffering and sadness. He reduced himself to becoming a mere human, having to experience the same trials we do in a world completely infected and overrun by this innate disease.
Paradoxically, Jesus defeated the disease of death by suffering the very penalty of that virus. He gave up his own life, dying on the cross, as all of our failures, mistakes, and transgressions were placed upon him. Jesus took upon himself the entirety of the effects of sin and sacrificed his life so that we could eternal life, that promise made real by his resurrection three days later as he conquered death.
Through Jesus, all of humanity has the promise of life. When we accept his taking the punishment for our sins that we deserve, Jesus not only forgives us of our sins, but begins to transform us. Day by day, that sinfulness that seems so embedded in our very person, begins to dissipate. Each day, we begin to look more like the perfect and sinless Jesus.
When Jesus returns to finally put an end once and for all to the sin virus, the world will be created new, along with God’s people, and finally, everything that sin has destroyed will be restored, reborn, and as it was originally designed to be. The whole universe will watch as sin is destroyed and the quarantine is lifted from humanity and planet earth.
THE PARADOX OF GOD’S LOVE
When we think about how small and insignificant we are in the universe, perhaps one seeking to answer the Fermi Paradox should propose, ‘why would extraterrestrials even care about humans?’ We live on a tiny dust mote that floats through space, and when we die that ball keeps spinning as if we’d never even existed. By all accounts, no one outside of earth should care.
Yet God in his infinite love, does care. Jesus was willing to come down from Heaven to earth and did not care about the personal cost or consequences, only about us. Jesus is not only the answer to the Fermi Paradox, but also the Sin Virus which he has defeated and declared victory over.
Amid all the worry about the Coronavirus, I hope that this message will not only give you hope, but make you think not just about your life here on earth in the quarantine zone, but your eternal life on the new earth that God has in store for you. God has done everything he can to save us from sin, so what would hold you back from choosing a life free from pain, suffering and tears? Choose Jesus, the antidote to sin today.
By Christopher Petersen
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