Bad news that matters

I caught a clip of a documentary on the discovery that HIV could be transmitted through blood transfusions.  When researchers realized why hemophiliacs and others who needed blood transfusions were contracting AIDS, they immediately broadcasted the warning: HIV could be transmitted through blood transfusions.

It was not good news, but it was necessary news.  Because researchers realized what was causing the epidemic of AIDS in hemophiliacs, they were then able to develop new measures of caution to prevent AIDS from being transmitted through transfusions.  They saved countless lives by their bad news.

Hell is bad news.  But here’s what I think we miss sometimes (I know I do):  The purpose of Jesus talking about Hell isn’t so that we can spend the rest of our lives obsessing in horror over it.  Hell is bad news, and Hell is important news, but Hell isn’t the only news.

When the news about HIV and blood transfusions came out, it was only life-saving to those who hadn’t received transfusions.  Other than understanding why they had contracted AIDS, to those who had already received transfusions that had HIV in them, the news made no difference.  They were still dying from AIDS.

Jesus didn’t come to give us bad news and leave us without hope.  Unlike the doctors and scientists who made the discovery and broke the news about blood transfusions, Jesus could do something about the bad news.  He didn’t come merely to inform us about our destiny.  He came to change our destiny for us!

There was no choice to be cured for the patients who found they’d contracted AIDS from transfusions.  There was no advancement that could save them at that time.  But there is a choice for us to be cured from our sin natures.  We can trust in Christ to save us and choose Heaven, rather than Hell, to be our destiny.

Would you choose to contract HIV to save someone from it?  What if they had chosen to inject themselves with the virus?  Would you choose to then?

Only Jesus could have enough love to make the choice to save us from sin, and only Jesus was free from the penalty of sin.  In metaphor, we all have the virus of sin. We have all chosen to turn from God.  So none of us can save any other; we’re all in the same deathly condition.

But Jesus, who “knew no sin” (from 2 Corinthians 5:21), could pay for our sins.  He came to earth for the express purpose of carrying “our pain” and “our suffering” (from Isaiah 53:4).  He took the penalty of sin for us.  He accepted the virus of evil in His own body, so that we could be cured.

That is the good news.  Reject Jesus, and it’s only the bad news for you, and there is nothing to look forward to on Judgment Day.  But receive Jesus, and it’s only good news for you, and you will be cured from the ultimate disease: sin.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB)

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4, NIV)

“I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest. (John 10:7b-10, CEB)


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Teej, this is so well written and such a good analogy. Hope you are enjoying your time in PA. We miss you here.

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