Some have likened the stay home directive to that of God’s instructions to the Israelites to stay indoors on the night of the first Passover (Exodus 12). What makes the proposition even more attractive (and prophetic) is that Singapore’s “circuit breaker” measures kicked in on 7 April – yes, you guessed it – so very close to Passover 2020 which starts sundown of 8 April.
I have absolutely no issue with staying home and staying alive at all. However, I do find it a little bit of a stretch to apply the Passover account to what we are going through at the moment.
I will share some observations and will then end with a perspective which I believe is even more critical than merely avoiding Covid-19 (don’t miss this at the end of this post).
But before that, a little caveat: This post is not meant to stir any deep theological debate so please don’t pick a prophetic fight with me. You are free to believe or claim whatever you want to believe and claim.
Ok. Here goes …
Firstly, the Christian passover is no longer just physical but spiritual. Faith in Jesus, our Passover (1 Cor 5:7), has given us eternal life. I am not advocating being reckless in these critical times – be responsible and stay at home. That said, even if we should be affected physically, we know that death has already passed over us because of who we are and what we have in Christ.
Secondly, the time frame is not consistent. For the Israelites, they had to stay home for only one night. Even if we consider the entire Passover observance, it would be 8-16 April. As at the time of this reflection, Singapore’s circuit breaker measures will be until 4 May – three cycles of Passover? – just kidding.
Thirdly, if the proximity of dates is to be considered, then this only applies to Singapore and not to the rest of the world. As favoured as I believe Singapore is, I don’t think this special Passover privilege is reserved only for us. As with all other spiritual principles, it must be applied universally and consistently.
Fourthly, unlike the first Passover, we are not in a lockdown situation (and we hope and pray that we never get to that). We can still go out and dabao (takeaway) our favourite hawker fare. Just wear a mask and practise social distancing.
By now, I think you get the point. As attractive as the Passover proposition is, the only common factor is that of staying at home – that’s all.
This, however, does not mean that there is nothing we can learn from the Passover account in Exodus 12. I will close with this perspective for your personal prayer and processing:
Notwithstanding these observations, as already briefly alluded to above, I have no issue with the Passover principle when viewed and processed through Jesus, our Passover and Christ, through Whom we have been saved by His blood. This is indeed a glorious promise!
However, to simply stop there would be to totally miss the point of our salvation (or survival through this Covid-19 crisis). If you want to read and claim Exodus 12, then do so in its entirety. To this end, allow me to bring Exodus 12:17 & 41 to your attention:
“So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the last of Egypt. … – it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”Exodus 12:17 & 41 (emphasis mine)
Make no mistake. The preservation of lives in Egypt was for the purposes of the kingdom of God in the land, through His own kingdom people, the armies of the LORD. Likewise, in and through this crisis and staying home, there will be a time when God’s people will be raised and released. May we be ready for that.
Let’s pray that the significance of Passover doesn’t only apply to the staying at home to avoid death. Pray for Exodus 12:17 & 41 to be equally significant, if not more.