Sickness is part of the work of death, and death is ultimately a consequence of sin. Destruction of any kind is disorder. It does not belong to life. There is nothing natural about sickness, nothing beneficial; it is something oppressive and contrary to life. Death in the last analysis is a punishment, a punitive power. It is an enemy – indeed, the last enemy!

This is why Jesus calls his church to fight the forces of death. It is no wonder that nursing homes and hospitals originated in the Christian community. We dare not give up on those who are sick and dying, for it belongs to our human dignity and calling to nurture life. Jesus did not say, “Don’t bother about what happens to your life.” No, he calls himself the resurrection and the life. “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).

Therefore, live and resist the spirit of death. Take courage, no matter how much you have to suffer. Protest against death. It is your human task to live! The judgment against our life is now lifted through Christ. Through him everlasting life can flow into us, and we can overcome our fallen existence. This temporal life, cursed by death, need no longer play the tyrant.

From The God Who Heals: Words of Hope for a Time of Sickness (Plough, 2016).