One of the hardest parts of life is watching people we know and love die from a terrible disease., Among the top diseases on that list is cancer. About 1 in 6 people will die from cancer, and over 9.6 million people died from it in 2018. Cancer can be a cruel disease. It leaves victims and their families devastated through a series of terrible treatments that range from chemotherapy to radiation and surgery. As a pastor, I have watched many people die from this dreaded disease and done their funerals. I personally know how cancer has destroyed the lives of many wonderful people and their loved ones. Cancer is truly like a wasting plague and has been a terrible scourge to humanity. Just look at the cancer cell pictured in this article and imagine that cell multiplying and destroying your body. Cancer's cost to our world is beyond words.
As I think about all the drama and pain behind cancer, I remember well graduating from college in 1977 and one of my friends said their life goal was to find a cure for cancer. What a wonderful thought and mission in life! And yet over the past 40 years or so, it didn't seem that such a cure was going to happen. But we were wrong! In the last few weeks it seems that a possible cure for cancer has been discovered in Israel. The Jerusalem Posted just reported on January 28 that a potential breakthrough has been discovered that may lead to all cancer being cured. That news sounds unbelievable and perhaps too good to be true. The Post article says,
A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer. "We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer," said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets. "Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market," Aridor said.
If this preliminary story turns out to be true, it will be one of the greatest scientific finds and discoveries in human history. It will be impossible to measure the blessing such a discovery will bring to the human race. The lives that will be spared, the suffering that will be ended and the money, time and resources that will be saved are simply beyond imagination. And perhaps the greatest thing that will happen to people is that the fear of cancer and even death itself will be changed forever. Such a thought is breathtaking...and prophetic at the same time. That is true because what has been missed by the world tonight is the fact that the end of cancer and the end of death are both related to the reality and future of the little nation of Israel.
Few people today have any idea why the State of Israel exists in the Middle East. If we just used logic and common sense, Israel shouldn't even be there. After all, how many nations leave their homeland for 2000 years and return to it and end up at the center of world events? Just think of the chances of the indigenous Indian tribes in America taking back our nation today. The chances of course are zero! Sadly, most people today see Israel as not much more than a troublesome little nation that seems to be the continued source of conflict and tension that never ends. The world through the United Nations has condemned Israel more than any other nation for things that have gone wrong in the Middle East. In some ways Israel and the Jews have been made to be the scapegoat of the world. Everybody in the world right now has some opinion about Israel's place in the world. But few seem to see or understand the nation's existence as a reminder of the Lord's desire to bless the world in wonderful ways we cannot imagine, leading to the end of death itself.
When the nation was started in Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord told Abraham that he would be the head of a new nation that would bless the entire world.
The Lord had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
The Lord's plan for Israel was to bless the entire world in ways that few understood when the Lord first spoke it to Abraham in this passage. Israel was going to be raised up as a nation before the entire world to bless all the other nations mentioned in Genesis 10. Israel would end up being at the center of all the Lord's plans for the world. Every blessing the world would ever receive would come through that tiny nation. And yet, the entire Old Testament left us somewhat uncertain exactly how these fantastic promises to the world would be fulfilled.
This question of how Israel would bless the entire world remained a mystery until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord's life and ministry was the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. Our Lord's death on the cross and resurrection would provide for God's greatest blessing to the nations. You see the world's greatest need was for justice and forgiveness for sin. The world needed a complete restoration of things to reverse the effects of sin that had ravaged the entire world including all our cancers. Cancer it turns out is only a symptom of sin, not its cause. People get cancer because we live in a fallen, sinful world separated from the Lord's total care and blessing. The Lord Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection forgave sin, defeated death itself and gave the Lord the right to heal and deliver the whole world from its sins, diseases and sicknesses. That fact was pointed to in a clear way by our Lord's public ministry of healing seen throughout the New Testament. Our Lord had the right to heal people because sin was going to be forgiven by Him personally. Our Lord's ministry was the greatest sign that the future age of blessings promised to the world through Abraham had finally arrived.
So when the little nation of Israel was physically resurrected in May of 1948, after the Holocaust of World War II, it became the witness to the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming work for us. Our Lord Jesus had been the Holocaust for sin and His resurrection was the sign that sin had been forgiven and the world was going to receive the blessings promised to Abraham in Genesis 12. As the nation of Israel has literally resurrected from the death camps of Auschwitz and others, they have moved to the center of world technology, innovation and blessing like no other nation in the history of the world. Their scientists and doctors have now brought us a possible cure for cancer to remind the world they are the nation that brought forth the Great Physician in our Lord.
It may be hard right now for many people to believe that cancer is just one of the diseases that will end when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule and reign over it. It is very hard to believe that our Lord's return will bring an end to hospitals and all the effects of sin that have ravaged our lives. The Bible provides us with many prophecies of the days we are about to enter during the coming Messianic Age. In Isaiah 35:5, 6 and 10 we see a sampling of where our world is heading tonight. This passage is quoted in Matthew 11:5 as being fulfilled by our Lord.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert...... And the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Israel's discovery of a potential cure for cancer is one of greatest signs of the nearing of the Messianic age. As that Day draws close, Israel will soon come to see that the greatest promise to Abraham is found in the Messiah that came, died for sin and rose again. When that discovery happens Israel will share that truth with the whole world in new ways we cannot even imagine right now. Israel will come to see in that hour how their very nation was named after God's truest Son and firstborn according to Exodus 4:22, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Friends, we are living in the most exciting time in the history of the world as we see the Lord's faithfulness to Abraham and us being fulfilled before our eyes as the Lord's blessings flow out to the world through the Gospel and now a cure for cancer. The Messianic Age is almost here. Do you see it? Have you shared it with someone? Let's resolve in this exciting hour to share the simple Gospel with as many as we can. May the wonders of our Lord and His witness to Himself as seen in the nation of Israel be discovered and enjoyed by all to His honor and the glory of His coming Kingdom.