A New Passover
Wow! Things are changing fast! Last night the Mayor of San Antonio issued a shelter-in-place order that limits movement within the city to necessary trips only. The County Judge issued a similar order. All nonessential businesses are now closed and those that remain open are ordered to maintain safe social distancing and take extra steps to avoid spreading Covid19.
As I listened to the mayor’s announcement last night, I was struck by the weirdly appropriate timing of this order for people of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the season of Lent as we draw near the time of Passover, we are ordered to shelter in our home. How could I not think of the story of the Passover? How could I not remember the night the Israelites huddled behind closed doors as the angel of death passed over the land? I am confident you remember the story From Exodus 12:1-14:
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small fora whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Therefore, as we hunker down to await the passing of this current pandemic, let’s use this time as opportunity to remember and to reflect on the Passover. The Passover reminds us of the story of a terrible plague, a plague that brought death to many people. It also reminds us that death is never the end of the story. Captivity, oppression, hardship, are not the end of the story! the bad news is never the end of the story. Covid19 is not the end of the story! In the end God uses a terrible plague to liberate the people of Israel from bondage. In the end God uses the crucifixion of his only begotten son to conquer death once for all. The Passover ends with liberation. The passion ends with resurrection. In Romans 8:28, Paul writes We know that all things work together for good for those who love God…” All things includes our current reality. God has the power to deliver us from the current pandemic. God will deliver us. Over those who are in Christ death has no power. Death is not the end of the story. In the end God wins. Remember, even this is the day that the Lord has made…Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ex 12:1–14.  The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ro 8:28.