This year is a rare example of when Easter and Passover coincide, and even more unusual in that both Churches and Synagogues will be empty on these major holidays.
Nevertheless, the spiritual lessons for both Jews and Christians who will be celebrating at home, are more relevant this year than ever.
With the Coronavirus sweeping through the world, we are reminded of the ancient plagues that God brought against Egypt in the book of Exodus. Then, like now, fear struck the hearts of all, and the only refuge was at home:
When the Lord strikes down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will Pass-Over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:22-23)
We derive the name of the holiday from this verse, when God promises to “Pass Over” the homes of the Israelites who had stayed home in faith and obedience.
While Passover is generally a joyous time when Jewish families reunite and participate in large Seder meals, this year, many will be all alone. This presents an acute problem for Israel’s elderly population and Holocaust survivors, who are unable to join with their families on the holiday.
Nonetheless, all are committed to doing our part to eradicate the fearful Corona plague from our midst, and to stay home in faith and obedience. Christians who will be celebrating Easter at home, likewise, have the same challenges, but can bear in mind the primary lesson of Passover.
When all appears bleak that the virus continues to kill so many, when it is hard to contain our fear that there is so little we can do to protect our families, we can take heart from the story of Passover. The God that protected the Children of Israel in their homes in Egypt and who delivered them from bondage is the same God that can still rescue His people from every plague and any situation.
I will be praying that the God of Israel protects all Jews and Christians who will be home this week celebrating Passover and Easter. May He not only eradicate the fearful virus, but deliver all of us and our families with perfect health and abundant blessings.