As my group at church was Zooming the other night, someone mentioned the current need for blood donations. In our conversation, we playfully discussed the best perks we ever received from giving, and someone mentioned that they were now testing for the COVID-19 antibodies as part of the donation process.
The test provided me an additional reason to donate blood because I wondered if I had the COVID-19 back in February.
My wife was very concerned about me because I actually scheduled an appointment with my doctor. I had been experiencing what I thought was a bad cold, but it eventually turned a corner where I was confident I had the flu based on my symptoms. After I got swabbed, my test came back negative, and the doctor informed me that I must be experiencing some severe strain of a cold. After a few days of uncomfortable symptoms, the cold gradually lifted.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that everyone in the United States became concerned about “the Rona.”
So when I heard they were testing for the antibodies, I scheduled the first appointment. As I gave, they told me that it took 7-10 days to receive the test and it would come to my online account.
When I opened the notification 4 days later, I was surprised to read the test results: “negative.”
If I am completely honest, I was legitimately bummed. I had become confident that I had the virus. When I shared this story with our church, a doctor approached me and said, “You know, you still may have contracted the virus. That test is not 100% accurate. I have known many people with all the symptoms, and the test came back negative. We just simply don’t know enough about it yet.”
Did I have it yet or not? I guess I won’t know. That’s my genuine frustration. Why was I so bummed?
If I knew that I had already been infected with the virus and recovered, I would be running through the streets of our city hugging and helping everyone I encountered.
In this time of social distancing, do you know what that kind of freedom would feel like? You wouldn’t worry about contracting it because you had already been healed from it. You could boldly engage people without fear of what exposure might do to you. You would be free.
If I feel that way about the COVID-19 antibodies, how then should I feel about the greater sickness of which I have been healed?
I came into this world infected with a sinful nature, and I made matters worse with every sinful decision I chose. My condition was nothing less than fatal. No doctor, prescription, or remedy could alleviate my symptoms.
But Jesus, the Great Physician, engaged me while I was still contagious. He transferred the virus to himself and rid me of it. He died the death that should have been mine to suffer. As a result of his sacrifice, I have eternal immunity from the effect of sin, the fear of death, the threat of hell, and the lies of Satan.
I am clean. I am healed. I am free.
- If I am truly this free from the greatest sickness, don’t you think I should be running through the streets of this world hugging and helping everyone I can?
- If I have found the cure, shouldn’t I boldly engage with the needs around me to share the remedy with everyone I can?
- If I am immune, shouldn’t I have a type of boldness that is liberating in a world overrun with fear?
I don’t know if I had the COVID-19 or not, but I do know that I had a sickness much worse than that. I was inundated with sin, but I have been healed by Jesus.
You cannot become infected by that which Jesus has addressed. Your sin has been addressed. Your debt has been paid. Your result is clear.
If you have truly been healed from the sickness of sin, you should run to everyone everywhere to share the glorious news of the cure – Jesus.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.