In the midst of any disaster the question rises in the minds of people, “Why did this happen?” It especially happens in the face of evil such as mass shootings or mass genocide such as that undertaken by the Nazi’s. Why would such things happen? As we face a global health pandemic that same question is coming up again. The question is, “Why do we have COVID-19?” Another question is, “Why is the world so broken right now?” There is no simple answer to such questions and I am not qualified to speak to about this virus from a medical standpoint. All I know in that regard is that this virus is serious and people are dying. It is heartbreaking.
However, I can speak to this from biblical and theological point of view. To provide an overarching framework for why the world is broken we have to go back to Genesis 3. Prior to Genesis 3 God had told Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God command the man saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God told them that if they disobeyed this command, death would come. Spiritual and physical. Then in Genesis 3 we find the serpent in a “crafty” manner leading Adam and Eve to rebel against the Lord with the result being spiritual death and eventually physical death would come. From that moment forward all of creation and humanity was placed under a curse awaiting the promised Son who would crush the serpent, set humanity free, and return again one day with a new heavens and new earth free from the curse of Genesis 3.
We find ourselves in the “between” We are between the first and second coming of the Lord Jesus. We still face the effects of the Fall in Genesis 3. A couple of those effects are sickness and death. It flows like this: The Fall occurred in Genesis 3 which resulted in brokenness plaguing the world. Nothing works as God intended so the world now deals with sickness and death. While Christ has come to set us free from sin, we are still waiting for his final coming where he will make all things news. We have the COVID-19 virus, biblically speaking, because of the Fall in Genesis 3. Sin and brokenness are still found in this world which means we have viruses and other sickness. Yet, we must also maintain that God is fully in control. All of creation to new creation is under God’s control. This includes the Fall and all the results of the Fall. While there are a lot of medical facts related to this virus, ultimately, we have this virus because of the Fall in Genesis 3. Yet, we are not without hope. There will be a new creation unveiled in Revelation 21:4-5, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”
Why COVID-19? We still live in a world subjected to the curse of Genesis 3. Yet, we are not without hope. We can point people who are hopeless in these days to the Christ who came to bear their curse in his body on the cross and conquer death for them. We must point them to the resurrected God-Man, Jesus Christ.