Far Greater Than Six Feet - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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Everyday Living Faith
August 12, 2020

Far Greater Than Six Feet

In these unfamiliar times with the coronavirus, we stumble upon many life changing experiences. People no longer can enter a building without a mask, “stay six feet apart” and “social distance yourself” have become popular words of advice, and visiting friends and family members are infrequent occasions. In fact, all this time we have spent locked down, in quarantine and socially distant has left people with a foreboding sense of separation and isolation. For people everywhere, this separation from each other is painfully lonely and depressing.

Keeping even a six-foot distance from each other brings about a feeling of depression and solitude. Separation from the people you love, the places you enjoy visiting and the friends you want to spend time with really hurts. For introverts and extroverts alike, this pandemic has left people wondering why we didn’t cherish face-to-face interactions more before the impact of the coronavirus. While this separation leaves us feeling like our close connections we once held with others are growing ever more distant, the hope for a time of normalcy feels even farther away.

This separation happening right now feels like it has never occurred before in the history of mankind. Social distancing, avoiding physical contact, and staying six feet apart seemed like unfamiliar words not just six months ago. However, believe it or not, separation like this has happened in many ways throughout history.

One of the hardest examples of separation appears at the very beginning of the Bible when Adam and Eve lived together in the Garden of Eden. This garden was perfect and what made it even better was the fact that they could walk and talk throughout the garden with God Himself. Everything in this flawless garden was going perfectly until Adam and Eve ate of the tree in the one act forbidden by God. It was at this time that Adam and Eve sinned, thus, no longer permitting them to live in the garden with God. They were separated from the garden and from the God who created them and loved them.

This separation Adam and Eve experienced is the ultimate separation every human being would have to suffer because of their sin. If you thought staying six feet apart was isolating, the hard fact is, our separation from God is so much farther than six feet. In the Bible, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 says, “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Paul writes in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” After every human dies, separation from God is our punishment because of sin. On our own, we are unable to reach Heaven, and we will ultimately fall into the ultimate place of separation, isolation, fear, and sadness… hell.

When the Bible refers to the wages of sin as death, it is not referring to physical death; it is talking about an everlasting separation from God, the Provider of life. The terrible impact of sin on every human being sweeps the globe like a pandemic with no available cure. As hard as we may work looking for a cure on our own, our works always prove to be in vain. There is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves from the destruction of sin.

Our hopeless human condition doesn’t end there, however. The same God that created every human being on this earth created a way for us to be with Him in Heaven someday. He made a way for us to not have to experience that separation. He sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to die and take on the punishment of separation that spiritual death brings.

The cross was a lonely place filled with shame, disgrace, isolation, pain and fear. During the crucifixion, Jesus not only experienced rejection by humans, but He also suffered the excruciating pain of God turning His back on Him. At that moment, Jesus experienced separation from all, including His Heavenly Father. He was rejected. He was forsaken. He was completely alone.

We deserve the stipulations of our sinful condition, but Jesus decided to take it on Himself. In 1 Peter 3:18 it says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” Jesus died so as to bring us to God. He removed the most troublesome punishment of separation possible off of us and onto Himself. He took it from us… because of us… for us.  

During this time of the pandemic, we maintain this six-foot separation now so that later we can live together happy, healthy, and whole after the virus. We have to distance ourselves now so that later we no longer have to. Similarly, Christ had to experience the separation, the rejection, the isolation resulting from the whole world’s sin. What I found to be interesting amongst this comparison was six feet apart has a significant role in both examples of separation. For corona, six feet apart is supposed to ultimately slow the spread of the virus, thus, “saving lives.”

Interestingly enough, when a man stretches his arms out from side to side like Jesus did when He died on the cross, the average distance is six feet. Jesus experienced the most difficult six-foot separation… from one pierced hand to the other. He went that distance on the cross so that His creation didn’t have to be distanced from Him. Because of that sacrifice that Jesus made, we no longer need to experience that painful separation. The cure to this global pandemic of sin is before us. Jesus paid the price and all we have to do is accept it.

Romans 8:38-39 states, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In this time of coronavirus, numerous things hinge on the ever-changing conditions of this world and the seemingly important happenings that entertain us. Wars exist, natural disasters occur, worldwide pandemics happen, and social separation takes place. But through all of this, we can find peace and assurance in the never changing love of God. A love that we can never be separated from.

It is when we realize and embrace the perpetual, eternal hope that we hold with Christ, that our view on everything transitions from temporal to everlasting. God’s love will never change, His promises will never change, and His gift of Salvation will never change. God’s gift of Salvation, even though it cost Him a heavy price, is offered to us completely free so that we will never have to experience the painful separation of death. All we have to do is accept this free gift of Salvation and embrace God’s promise. The promise that provides us with the assurance that absolutely nothing can ever separate us from the love that we depend on and trust in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

-Abigail Forton ‘22

Learn more about a Christ-centered education at Geneva College by talking with our Admissions team - 800-847-8255 | admissions@geneva.edu.


Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash