These days, it’s impossible to avoid hearing about coronavirus. Corona means “crown.” Recently, I found my mind drifting to the opening of the first seal in Revelation 6:2– “I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer.”
I don’t believe coronavirus is the fulfillment of the first seal. Trying to decode Revelation with current events isn’t the best way to interpret that book. Still, this verse has me thinking.
Many things ride into the world wearing crowns and demanding submission. Coronavirus is one in a long line of such “crowns.” But to coronavirus and all the rest, Christ’s people say, “We do not recognize your crown or your authority. We only recognize the crown of Christ. He is King of kings.”
Last Sunday, our pastor read Hebrews 2:14-15: “ Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death — that is, the Devil — and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” The fear of death is usually what “crowns” use to enforce their rule. Coronavirus is no exception.
But as we grow in Christ, death of any kind—physical or psychological—holds less terror for us. Paul said, “I die every day!” (1 Cor. 15:31). Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it” (Matt. 16:25). Death to self and of self is something Christians embrace in order to follow Jesus.
I’m not suggesting we forego hand washing or put God to the test by being careless about coronavirus. But Jesus said we can’t serve two masters. As the situation with the virus develops, I’m asking myself and the Lord which crown holds sway in my life and over my decisions.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Php. 4:6-7).