I’m high risk for breast cancer. Three generations of women in my family have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Knowing this, as I went in for my first MRI screening a week ago, I had a sense of impending doom. True, the women in my family have all survived, but as I was slid into the large tunnel-like imaging tube, my overly-active heartbeat and wandering brain, didn’t seem to land on truth and reason.
Instead, the what ifs began to run wild. “What if they find something? What if it’s not treatable? What if I don’t have very much time left? What will happen to my daughters, are they going to get cancer too?”
Before long it was as though I’d been given a death sentence, and I felt panic; panic that nagged at me for two more days until I got the phone call. It’s a phone call that you desperately want; yet you’re almost tempted to let it go to voicemail because as much as you want good news, you’re afraid it might be bad. As it turns out, my phone call did make it to voicemail. When I finally mustered the courage to listen to it, I heard some of the most freeing words on the planet. “You are cancer free.”
Wow. Tears of joy instantly welled in my eyes, praise the Lord, my scan was clear! There were absolutely no signs of breast cancer. My self-imposed death sentence had been lifted and I felt as though I was walking on clouds with a broad smile on my face.
As I considered all the effects of this wonderful news, it dawned on me: what if I felt this way about my diagnosis of sin? Scripture tells us that, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses” (Col. 2:13).
Our sin was a cancer—untreatable, extremely fast-growing, making us incredibly sick, and leaving us hopeless with a death sentence. But God.
“But God shows his love for us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
The joy I experienced when I heard the words “cancer free” should pale in comparison to the words I heard when I accepted Jesus into my heart: “sin free.” If you have trusted in Christ, your debt has been paid. You are no longer sin sick. You are healed.
“You who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).
You’ve been washed white as snow. And now, when God scans your heart, he sees Jesus, his completely spotless son. You are free and your death sentence has been lifted. So now, I’m praising the Lord for a clean bill of physical health, but more importantly a clean bill of spiritual health. Jesus’s blood has freed us from the bondage of sin and death and purchased a place for us within his Father’s kingdom, and that should evoke great joy within us. We are alive!