In January 2020, when rumours about an impending pandemic was circulating through social media, Christians in Ghana carefully chose songs to prepare in advance.
Many Christians around the world prayed earnestly when news from Wuhan, China reached the world about an impending disaster.
Despite the prayers, the world was plunged into a pandemic that has claimed more lives than we ever imagined. Sadly, both Christians and non-Christians have died from the pandemic.
The rich, poor, famous, less famous, politicians, rulers, business tycoons, academics, students, children, young men and women, older men and women have all succumbed to the pandemic.
Children have been orphaned, spouses widowed, dreams and aspirations shattered, businesses collapsed etc.
In the face of a menacing virus that was to break the boundaries of Ghana, the Christian president and Muslim vice president of the country gathered the religious constituency of the country to implore God to spare Ghana and the world.
The religious people prayed and assured the nation that the Lord will redeem Ghanaians. Elsewhere in the West, former American president, Donald Trump called on Christians to pray.
Despite the prayers, the virus hit Ghana and the USA. While the devastating impact of the virus on Ghana was/is incomparable to the US, both countries suffered, nonetheless.
The situation led to people raising questions about where God was/is. Does God care? Is He capable of redeeming His world? Has He also succumbed to the virus?
Atheists and others of that group started taunting at religious people. They intensified their call for robust investment in science. Scientism was gaining grounds, as religion appeared to be receding.
As an evangelical Christian, l reflected on the theology of suffering and pain, technically called Theodicy – where is God when pain strikes?
The good news is that God is still on His throne. He is still sovereign. He is still a loving God. He still cares. He is out of and in the world with us. He grieves as we grieve.
Most importantly, as a Christian, l know that the worst to hit the world is not a pandemic. The worst thing that ever happened to the world is called deicide – the murder of God.
Yes, humans literally murdering Jesus Christ on the Cross was/is the worst calamity to ever befall humanity and the world.
The human sin of deicide was so egregious that the Bible says when the blood of Christ touched the ground, the earth could not peacefully take the blood of its uncreated Creator.
Consequently, there was a huge earthquake and a temporary cosmic darkness. Even nature rebelled against the murder of its creator!
But hallelujah the worst disaster that ever happened brought the best humans will ever experience – eternal bliss.
More importantly, the excruciating pain Jesus Christ went through tells me and every Christian that Jesus Christ cares. It tells me that He is willing to suffer with me.
By His pain, He is able to empathise with me when l go through pain.
This is radically different from every other gods of every other religion. The gods of other religions claim to save from afar.
They promise good health, when they don’t know pain. They promise heaven when they have not touched the earth. They don’t feel what we feel, so, they are unsympathetic. They are simply spirits!
In 2019, a friend of mine in Ghana was preparing for a surgery. He was worried. He prayed. He trusted God. More so, he wanted to talk with someone who had ever had such a surgery and survived.
This was against the fact that doctors and nurses had assured him. But these doctors and nurses had no personal experience with the surgery.
Then, as if by divine fiat, l met him at the Centre for Gender Studies and Activism (CEGENSA), University of Ghana, where l had gone to see him over a totally unrelated discussion.
As he was seeing me off, we got to his car and talked a bit more. Then suddenly, he said to me he was preparing for a surgery.
Quickly, l asked him, “Do you mind telling me the type of surgery you are preparing for?” My intention was to have a targeted prayer with him.
He mentioned it and added that he was a bit afraid of what the outcome of the surgery would be.
I told him, he was in safe hands, God. And the one he was speaking to, me, has been there in the theatre three times in two years in Uganda over the same ailment (he had).
At this point, he asked me, “how did you make it – the pain?”
I told him, he would be fine. Because l had experienced and survived what he was yet to experience, my friend entered the theatre spirited and hopeful, and healed quicker than he had imagined.
The above true story of mine is similar, but nothing compared to what Jesus Christ has done for us.
The worst the pandemic can done to us is not the collapse of our economy. In fact, even a developing country like Ghana is hopeful of bouncing back.
What we cannot do as humans with the combination of all sophisticated minds and technology is how to bring the victims of the pandemic back to life – something more important than bringing the economy back.
After all, bringing the economy back will enhance the quality of life – indirectly delaying death. But would it stop death ultimately?
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana succinctly expressed this antinomy as follows: “We know how to bring the economy back, but we don’t know how to bring the dead back.”
That was simply profound and true of all human economies. No economy of the world can bring the dead back to life.
In “Homo Deus”, the Oxford-trained Israeli historian and humanist, thinks the science of artificial intelligence would conquer death. That is, indeed, a good dream, but it will not happen. Do you remember the first scientific attempt men made at Shinar to reach into heaven? Do you recall the Gilgamesh myth?
Hallelujah, what science can’t do is what Jesus Christ has mastered. He conquered death and has the answer to death. Jesus’ resurrection is the ONLY assurance that when we believe in Him, though we may die, we shall live with Him.
Because He lives, we shall also live. Because He resurrected, we shall also resurrect with Him. Because He lives forever, we shall also live forever. Hallelujah.
Nevertheless, we shall all resurrect – Christian and non-Christian. But we shall not all resurrect into the same destination.
Believers in Christ will resurrect into eternal bliss, for there is no condemnation for them, since Christ has borne their sins.
But for non-believers, they shall sadly resurrect into eternal damnation because they refused to hide in Christ. They refused to accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Sin will take us to hell. None is sinless. Impliedly, none will escape hell, since it is the consequence of sin.
There is, however, a way out. Jesus Christ died to save the elect of God. He hanged on the Cross for our sake. He is calling you to look up to the Cross for redemption.
Whether you survive the pandemic or not, you will die. Some survived the influenza pandemic of 1918, but most of them have died, anyways.
Death is real, sin is the cause, Christ is the answer.
Jesus Christ does not take delight in the death of a sinner. So, He is calling you. He is beckoning you. But He would not impose Himself on you. Would you humbly respond to Him?
No religious gods and leaders, philosophers, speculators, scientists, humanists, doctors, nurses, politicians etc will save you, for none died and resurrected. And all of them will die, anyways!
No material accumulation: cars, certificate, houses, visas, work etc will save you, for none is human to identify with you in your dying moment. And since none of these material things always existed, they shall simultaneously cease to exist one day, soon.
I sincerely recommend Jesus Christ to you. Do not harden your heart, for time is running out on humanity and the planet.
Text me if you want me to pray with you.