The Crown of Thorns and Coronavirus

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“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering…
the punishment that brought
us peace was on him,
and by his wounds, we are
healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

In times of crisis, our greatest security is in the Lord! While these are indeed unprecedented times requiring responses and actions never before tried or enacted, we are assured by the Word of God that ultimately, the Lord is our fortress and shelter. As we watch the unfolding of this global pandemic we are astounded at the impact on every person, institution, business, government, and nation. We have faced disasters throughout our history, and even pandemics and worldwide economic disruptions, but never on this scale and breadth. To see airports closed, streets empty in major cities, and most events canceled or delivered remotely, is surreal, to say the least. Churches too have gone online to observe “social distancing” rules. We pray for the Lord’s protection while dutifully taking the essential actions to minimize the spread of this contagion.

Pray the Psalms

Throughout the years I have often turned to the Psalms in times of crisis, discouragement, and uncertainty. There are many we can choose to pray – Psalm 91 is powerful as we take command of the pestilence and declare it of no effect. Psalm 23 is comforting as we declare that in the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us. Psalm 90 is a call to action as we are reminded to number our days and rather than a spirit of fear to have a heart of wisdom; we humbly call on the favor of the Lord our God to rest on us and establish the work of our hands. We pray for our government leaders, health care and sanitation workers, and all of industry and society to do their part, young and old, to avert an escalating disaster. We pray for the Lord’s mercy and compassion on the entire world. We pray for repentance and revival, starting with the church. We pray for unity of purpose and recommitment to our country’s founding principles and our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Stand on Biblical Truth

From the perspective of Biblical truth, we know that “all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 To find the good in a pandemic and global economic upheaval may seem counter-intuitive, yet when we acknowledge that He is sovereign and in control, like any other disaster we know there is a way through, that while there are lessons to be learned and high costs to pay, we can grow spiritually and honor Him through our reliance on His promises and commandments. Paul admonishes, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13 Post-crisis the lessons learned will impact the way we do things just as the 9-11 crisis caused major paradigm shifts. As a nation we will be more conscious of social sanitation and public health, communicable disease response and medicine, critical supply chains, national strategic manufacturing and border security; these will be good things to ensure the health, safety, and economic vitality of our nation.

Trust Our Savior

The greatest promise of all found from Genesis through Revelation is that we have a Savior. As Isaiah prophesied 800 years before Christ’s birth:
“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace (Shalom) was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

When Jesus fulfilled this prophecy on the cross, He wore a crown of thorns signifying the curse of original sin upon the whole world initiated in the Garden of Eden. He bore the curse in order for all humanity to be saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. He paid the price for every sin, iniquity, sickness, disease, disaster, and calamity. And yes, He bore the corona virus as well!

Photography by Sheryl Dawson, San Francisco Mountains from Hart Prairie, Flagstaff

Move Mountains with Mustard Seed Faith

Though Jesus acknowledged that even those saved by grace face trouble and persecution, He encouraged his disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Then upon His resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples and said, “Shalom! Peace be to you!” It is through His sacrifice and resurrection that perfect peace is possible – His fullness, rest, safety, prosperity, completion, health, well-being, and wholeness. Through His resurrection Jesus has overcome death to bring His Shalom as Isaiah prophesied; so too as His redeemed can we! Through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we stand on His authority to call things that are, as though they were not! Remember, Jesus declared, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 As Christ overcame the curse of sin, so too shall we overcome the coronavirus. Rejoice in the Lord for He is our Redeemer and our Shalom.

With blessings,
Sheryl Dawson
March 31, 2020

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