Taking no more than 120 seconds to read, Two Minute Warming is an uplifting devotion to strengthen you in Jesus Christ.
I heard it, then: “Hurricane Katrina is God’s punishment on New Orleans, because it is a godless city.”
I’ve heard it, now: “The coronavirus is God’s punishment on the USA, because we have turned our back on God.”
I said it, myself, when my son got sick, which led to his death: “This happened, because I am such a terrible sinner.”
I said it to my pastor. He gently corrected me. He led me to Jesus.
To Good Friday.
From the cross, Jesus proclaimed, “It is finished (John 19:30).” His words can also be translated: “The goal has been reached,” and “It has been accomplished.”
What goal had Jesus reached in His being wounded? What had been accomplished through His bruises? What had He finished through the chastisement He suffered?
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).”
The stripes on Jesus’ flesh were the physical sign of the spiritual fact: by His wounds, He healed us.
Our healing is finished. Christ paid for the sins of the world. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. … God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:19 & 21).”
When terrible events occur in the world and in your life—hurricanes, this coronavirus, untimely death—you know these things are not God’s punishment, for He punished Jesus in our place.
When you fall short of what you should do, you can trust that the Lord will not zap you for it.
When you turn to Him in faith, He will always greet you with love and mercy, because the punishment for sin was accomplished in the death of Jesus.
Since Jesus has finished the job, why do we still suffer in so many ways? The Lord continues to allow these things as discipline for us, to teach us that we are weak so that we lean on His strength, and to keep us in faith so that we always realize this generation is dying and only His death conquers death.
We focus on Christ’s death and resurrection, looking forward to our own resurrection from the dead and the Paradise of the new creation, which will have no end.