A survey reported in the UK news in early July revealed that even if a vaccine were to be developed, 6% of Britons would ‘definitely’ not take it and 10% ‘probably’ would not. These results may reflect the particular group sampled by the particular organisation that conducted it, but it made me wonder why so many would resist it. If that 16% is reflected in wider society, surely those people are putting themselves at risk and keeping coronavirus around unnecessarily. My first thought was it’ll just be the ‘conspiracy theorists’, but it seems the sentiment is more widespread than I realised. Some may have genuine concerns about putting something like this into themselves – especially if they are among the earliest to try it! Nevertheless, if they do develop something that can make us resistant to it, I’ll be only too glad to take it.

God has provided not only a vaccine but a cure for the disease of sin. It has been thoroughly tested over two thousand years by millions and millions and throughout the world. It completely saves us from the punishment due to us because of our sin in the long term, but also helps relieve the symptoms by changing us from the inside. It was costly to produce – it cost Jesus His life’s blood. It is nevertheless easy to apply – believing in Him, trusting that what He did on the cross was enough to take away our sins forever with no further input from us.

Yet more than 16% of people are not interested in taking this. I have also been thinking about why this might be.

Some perhaps don’t believe we have such a problem as sin.

Others feel they don’t have the symptoms as badly as others, so don’t really need a Saviour.

Others (mainly religious types) want to get there on the basis of their own nice personality or the good they do or the religion they belong to – in short on the basis of what they’ve done instead of trusting in what Jesus has done.

Maybe most just drift through without thinking about it, focusing on immediate problems and pleasures.

How does the Lord Jesus feel about this? We get an insight one day when He looked over Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23.37). On another occasion He wept overlooking the city for the same reason. He wants us to run to Him and find eternal safety in Him, to shield us and protect us and feels so sad if we won’t come.

Whether or not we take the vaccine (and I think we should if a successful one emerges), let’s take full advantage of what the old hymn calls ‘God’s remedy for sin’.

(Karl Smith, Church of God in Kirkintilloch, UK)