I hate cancer. My brother, Adam, has brain cancer. Though modern medicine can slow it down, his cancer still can’t be cured. My wife’s grandmother in Mexico has stomach cancer. It’s terminal. The doctors don’t give her much longer here on earth. Countless friends and neighbors are facing and fighting this plague of our modern world.
Few people know this, but I’m afraid of cancer. As I pray for and encourage others who have the disease, I secretly wonder and worry how I will react if one day the doctor tells me those fateful words, “You have cancer.”
Cancer kills. Roughly eight million people in our world are dying of cancer right now. Though modern medicine has found ways to treat and even at times cure it, cancer continues to kill at alarming rates.
I am not going to sugarcoat this for you. You have cancer. I have cancer. We are infected, however, with something even more dangerous than a tumor or cyst. We are infected with the cancer of sin.
It’s a genetic disorder we inherited from our parents who inherited it from their parents all the way back to Adam and Eve. It’s an illness we have fed and exacerbated with a lifetime of poor, selfish and unloving choices.
The worst part is our cancer is terminal. Sin is the cause of death. You will die one day because of it. And when you do, you will be forced to face the consequences of your lifetime of poor choices.
Thankfully, God has provided a cure for our cancer. This week we celebrate that cure. Two thousand years ago, on a dark Friday we call good, God himself “took up our infirmities” (Isaiah 53:4). God transplanted our cancer onto himself. He suffered the consequences of our poor choices in our place and “by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Jesus is the cure for the cancer of sin. You are healed. You are forgiven. You are not going to die. That is what we celebrate every year on Good Friday and Easter.
On the first Easter Sunday, Jesus rose, body and soul, from the grave. His promise is that you too will one day rise. “I am the resurrection and the life,” he tells us. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25,26).
Cancer cannot kill you. Death cannot beat you. When you die, God will take your soul to live with him in heaven. And then, on the Last Day, he will raise your body from the grave. You will then live, body and soul, forever with God where there will be no more sin or sickness, cancer or death.
Though the doctors may postpone it a while, it seems that my brother will one day die from his cancer. My wife’s grandmother is going to die from her cancer. You and I are dying right now.
Don’t be afraid, though. This week we celebrate the cure for cancer, the cure for death, the cure for sin. This week, nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus died so that you might live.
He is the cure.