One was a world-famous basketball player. The other is a world-famous virus. Kobe took the world by storm with high-flying dunks, incredible fadeaways, and game-winning jump shots. Corona captured our attention by making hundreds of thousands sick, killing others, and shutting down entire economic systems.
What does Kobe have to do with Corona? Nothing. Except they both awakened the world to the reality of death in recent months. Last month, we watched the world mourn the death of Kobe Bryant. His sudden and unexpected death made us feel death’s sting. Kobe’s tragic end reminded us that death is not natural. We don’t mourn natural processes. We don’t mourn the setting of the sun, the digestion of food, or rain falling from the sky. We mourn death. We mourned Kobe’s death because death is terrible, and people weren’t made to die. Yet we all do. Our lives are short, and Kobe reminded us of that. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Now our attention has turned to Corona. Unlike Kobe, Corona has no admirable qualities. Corona is a virus intent on destruction. She does not discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, or economic status. She will happily infect any human being. Corona reminds us that no person is that different from another. We are all human. We are frail. There is no superior race. We share a common condition.
If Kobe reminded us of the brevity of life, Corona reminds us of the frailty of life. Our lives are short, and we are not as strong as we think. But I wonder if we have really learned anything from Kobe and Corona. Right now, our attention is on Corona, but we have forgotten Kobe. Corona is turning our world upside down, but most of us are not afraid of her. Why is that? Because we know we can beat Corona. The survival rate is high. The stats prove it.
But that’s why we must not forget Kobe even as we turn our attention to Corona. We might beat Corona, but we can’t beat death. We might reassure ourselves that when Corona comes for a visit, she won’t stay very long. But it’s a false hope. That’s why we need to remember Kobe.
Kobe and Corona. Think about them both together. And let Kobe and Corona lead you to Christ. Only at the foot of his cross and next to his empty tomb can we find hope. Not everyone will succumb to Corona, but we will all die like Kobe. Christ is the only one who has defeated death. He suffered on the cross for people under the sentence of death. He died in the place of the guilty to bear the punishment they deserved. But he didn’t stay in the grave. On the third day, he rose from the dead, conquering death forever. Christ, and Christ alone, has the power to give us eternal life. In a world of Kobe and Corona, Christ is our only hope.