21. Dead but still deadly

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Romans 6 :11: "Likewise, reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Christ Jesus our Lord."

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, I've been occupied in my thoughts quite often. Perhaps you also have been thinking a lot. One of the thoughts I have is what life would be like when all of this is over? When lockdown is suspended and we can go back to work; when a vaccine has finally been manufactured successfully; when the virus is conquered and it has lost its strength; when we are not scared or terrified of it anymore, will life go back to normal? I realised that even if the lockdown is lifted and a vaccine is introduced and all is over, it is not really over.

There is an aftermath we will have to contend with. We will still feel the effects of this virus long after it is gone, long after it is conquered, dead and defeated. Economies will have to be regrown; routines will have to be adjusted; relationships will have to be mended; mourning and grieving will have to run its course. There are so many things that are still going to be there after this is over.

I realised that the devastation and the aftermath of COVID-19 is exactly the same as the devastation and the aftermath of sin in this world. Our lockdown for sin has been lifted, we now have access to God through Jesus Christ. A vaccine has been implemented for sin and this vaccine's name is Jesus. The cause of this virus called sin, has been destroyed because Jesus died on the cross. Satan was defeated, he has been vanquished and his eternal doom was sealed, but we are still living on this earth and we still see and feel the aftermath of what Satan has done. We still have to contend with the effects of what Satan has done even though he has been defeated. We still have to be regrown in righteousness. Our habits still have to be adjusted. There are still relationships that need to be mended and we still have to say goodbye to our old sinful ways. We still have to mourn the pain that sin has caused in our lives.

Satan may be defeated but sin is still very much alive, unless we kill it. Romans 6:11 says: "We should reckon ourselves dead onto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ." The truth is that sin still has its effect here on this earth. Sin is still part of the aftermath of what Satan has done. Yes, he is a conquered foe, he is a defeated enemy, but his ways are still very much active in the world today. Let me explain this. I've heard some people say that they were accidentally stung by a dead bee. Apparently a scorpion can still kill somebody after it is dead and you somehow manage to prick yourself with its sting. This is because the venom is strong enough to cause a medical emergency even after the scorpion is dead. I also have heard of people being killed by landmines that were left behind after the war.

This is exactly the same for us even after Satan has been conquered on the cross. We are possibly losing the battle of sin long after the war with Satan has been won and his eternal death has been sealed. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, but Christ conquered sin. Christ conquered Satan, but the effects are still lingering and we are waging a battle with sin everyday. Fortunately we don't have to fear the power of hell or the punishment of sin because God has made a way. God says: "I am the way, the truth and the life." Therefore death has no more sting. We can declare that the grave has no more victory, but we are still losing the battle.

Why are we still losing the battle? There are two reasons. The first reason is because we do not know that the war is over. A story is being told of a Japanese soldier, Hiroo Onadaage.

This Japanese soldier continued fighting World War II, 29 years after the Japanese surrendered because he didn't know that the war was over and that the Japanese had lost. On the 26th of December 1944, at the age of 20, he was sent as an intelligent agent to the Lubang Island in the Philippines where he lived. He and some comrades were supposed to collect intelligence information on the island. The command was given that he was not allowed to kill himself, he was not allowed to surrender and his commanding officer would come into the jungle once the war was over, to find him. He just needed to keep fighting and keep collecting information while the battle raged. He was told that it would take five to six years and when the war was over, they would come and fetch him.

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