The “Last Ship” is a TV series that takes place in a world that has been totally infected by a virulent virus.
The last ship is a U.S. Navy battleship. A world renown virologist has been brought aboard to work on an antidote. After months of research, she discovers the cure. However, the world is in chaos with a lot of bad people taking over communications, hospitals and most of the infrastructure of the country.
Obtaining the cure was a massive undertaking. Getting the cure to a lot of people in a timely manner was even more daunting.
In a moment of divine inspiration, they devised a method of “infecting” people with the cure in much the same way as they were infected with the virus. The virus was spread by air and by touch. The antidote was prepared so those who had been cured could pass the cure along to those who were sick. They devised a plan to drop the “cured” into densely populated areas where they simply touched and breathed on as many people as possible.
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In John 20:19-23, we find a parallel scenario from a spiritual perspective.
“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!
“Again He said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ Then He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’”
In the spiritual realm, sin is the virulent virus that kills mankind. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Jesus infected Himself with the “sin virus” in order to provide an antidote for our cure.
“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV.
The Bible says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus died on the cross and paid the wages of sin (the virus) by shedding His blood (the antidote) on the cross. He offers us not only forgiveness for our sin, but He offers to live His life in and through us since the sin virus had killed us and we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1).
Once you, by faith, accept the cure - Jesus Himself and His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection - you are a “carrier” of the antidote, which is love and forgiveness. He is Love and Love never fails.
But just as the antidote for the virus could do no good unless it came into contact with an infected person, Love cannot cover a multitude of sins unless it is spread to those who are infected. Forgiveness is the medium through which love is injected into hurt, wounded and fearful people. Jesus tells us to forgive as He has forgiven us.
There is a whole world out there blinded by sin and scared to death of abuse, rejection and betrayal. They are separated from the love of God and in desperate need of salvation, healing and forgiveness. As Jesus breathed on His disciples and they received life by the Holy Spirit, we, too, are being sent into a dying world to breathe His life and love into them as well.
How do we do that? First, let’s take a look at what Love is like.
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 MSG
Jesus cleansed you from your sin disease, totally and completely. He now lives in you and through you. He is your life. You don’t have life apart from Him. All He wants to do is to “infect” every person in the world with the cure (love and forgiveness, Himself). But like the antidote in the TV show, Jesus needs a carrier to take Him to people still sick with sin.
Will you spread Jesus’ healing love and grace wherever you go today? Breathe on people words of grace and encouragement. Touch them with love and compassion. Hugs give double and triple doses. Sin is the harbinger of fear. But perfect love and acceptance drives out fear.
There is a world out there waiting for Jesus and you today. And don’t forget to take a big dose for yourself first before you head out. Remember, you can’t give away what you have not received. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey at Lake Wylielie. He can be reached at JourneyFellowshipLW@gmail.com.