This morning, I sat in the Jacksonville airport while the TV above my head brought nonstop updates on the Ebola crisis. Suffice to say, the media hysteria on Ebola has reached fever pitch. I suppose the coverage is fairly warranted given the fact that Ebola has such a high mortality rate and seems to spread with ease even though it’s not an airborne virus. Our new Ebola Czar (what an awful job title) has his work cut out for him.
While I’ve largely ignored the news stories pouring out of Dallas, one recent story particularly caught my attention. It’s the story of Nina Pharm and Dr. Kent Brantly. Last week, Nina became the latest American victim of the Ebola virus. When asked how she initially absorbed the terrifying news that she had contracted the deadly disease, Nina simply said “I was afraid” and who can blame her? This disease is vicious.
In a desperate attempt to Save Nina’s life, doctors have injected into her bloodstream some uniquely potent plasma. This special plasma supply was drawn from the veins of Dr. Kent Brantly. You’ll remember Dr. Brantly as the American missionary that contracted Ebola a few months ago while caring for victims of the disease in Liberia. By the grace of God, Dr. Brantly’s body was able to fight off the lethal effects of Ebola and live to tell about it. It’s precisely because he faced Ebola head-on that Brantly’s plasma has the necessary anti-bodies to fight the disease for other victims like Nina. As it stands now, Nina Pharm is in stable condition due in large part to Brantly’s plasma. His body won the battle so that her body won’t die trying.
You don’t have to look far to see a glorious picture of the gospel. CS Lewis once said “You have a body. You are a soul.” If that’s true, then the disease of sin should frighten us far more than nonstop breaking news updates on the “Ebola crisis”. The very essence of who we are as created beings, our souls, are infected with the deadliest of pandemics.
By the grace of God, one Man confronted the lethal effects of sin then stared death straight in the eyes to say “I will rise.” And He did. Because He lives, we now have access to the one thing that will save us from the long-term side effects of sin; the blood of One who has already won the battle.
The hymn by William Cowper says its so well:
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Ever since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.