Immunity is a Myth


In Eula Bliss’s book “On Immunity,” she concludes, Immunity is a myth – no mortal can ever be made invulnerable.

The artist Ruben painting of Achilles shows his mother holding her son by the heel and dipping him in the River Styx to protect him from harm.  However, he is eventually killed by a poison arrow that strikes his heel, his one vulnerable spot.

We have been told that we need to build higher and better guarded walls; purchase more guns; investigate immigrants beyond the three years they are already vetted.

Bliss writes that in the case of inoculations against flu, and childhood diseases, it’s not enough to says about a child or ourselves, “All that matters is that he is safe.”  We cannot totally inoculate ourselves against life in this world – economic crashes, car crashes, or random violence.

Even our Lord was not immune to the adversities and dangers of life.  God said as much in Genesis, when he said the offspring of the woman would bruise the serpents’ head, but the serpent would bruise his heel.

the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism.  The Father said, “You are my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”  Yet, Jesus would suffer much and finally go to the cross where more than his heel is bruised.  He is the Beloved Son BECAUSE he will redeem us through his death.  We are saved because he allowed himself to be vulnerable.

In the Old Testament lesson from Isaiah 43, God says twice, “Fear not.”  Not because Judah’s measures to safeguard themselves from Babylonian attack would protect them.  No, as they go into exile they will cross rivers and encounter fire.  The reason for not fearing did not lay in anything they would do, but because God had created and formed them.  He had redeemed them. He had called them by name and put his name on them.  They were precious in his sight.  He was going with them into exile.

We may take all sorts of measures to make ourselves immune, but immunity from life is a myth.  Only in the life of Christ are we finally given an immunity from what really threatens, our sins, and our death.  Christ is conqueror of both of our enemies and gives us life in their place.

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