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The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic. In short, the virus has spread globally. So what now? 

I am neither a scientist nor a medical professional, and so I offer no expert advice here. Other outlets have and will continue to do so. Instead, I want to speak about our fear of death and anxieties in light of the coronavirus.

Fear and trembling

Christ has conquered death. Yet the fear of death feels very real. In fact, before Christ saved us, we all “through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb 2:15). Death’s scythe loomed above us. Fear enslaved us.

But Christ rose from the dead. So our final hope lies in life—in abundant life. We have this life now (John 17:3). And when we die here, we will continue to be alive in Christ. And finally we will accept our incorrupt and immortal body at the resurrection. Life characterizes the entire sweep of our existence in Christ.  

And this is why we must quiet our fears with hope. This does not mean we should ignore wise and good counsel for our safety and the safety of others. Wash your hands. Work from home if you are sick. And whatever else medical professionals are advising. 

Perfect love casts out all fear

We should take regular and wise precautions for the love of our elderly and infirm neighbours. Not because we fear, but because we love. Perfect love has cast out all fear, and we hope in the Lord of glory whom we follow in the resurrection unto glory. 

Sadly, some of us will know someone affected by the coronavirus—an elderly relative, a friend with a compromised immune system, or an infirmed person. Some of us will weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. 

Yet what a time to give sober hope in the resurrection of the body. What a time to face fear with the courage of one who has been redeemed from the fear of death. Christ became human to free you from fear (Heb 2:14). 

This means that you can cast “all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet 5:7). And we can. And we must. 

Love your neighbour by washing your hands and taking precautions. But remember the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember that he defeated death. And remember that perfect love casts out all fear.