EASTER & COVID-19
WISDOM VS. FEAR
It’s Easter again. The weather is starting to get a little bit nicer. The flowers and trees are starting to bloom. But the sad part is-we can’t get together with folks and enjoy the activities we normally would this time of year. It’s not as festive as it usually is. As we all know, a terrible virus has hit our world and instead of celebrating with others we are all locked in the house on strict Stay-In-Orders. Many of us are personally battling sickness. Some have even lost loved ones due to the virus. So, you may be asking yourselves what does this virus have to do with Easter. Well historically this is actually not the first time that folks were shut in the house during Easter due to a virus. The bible has so many stories that relate to modern day life. We are going to take a look at two in particular.
EXODUS 12: 1-30
Now we have heard this story a thousand times. But let’s take a look at it through the lens of COVID-19. Now please hear me when I say this. I am not suggesting that God sent COVID-19 to kill people as His judgment. I am merely pointing out some similarities of what happened then and the state of where we are today. I find it interesting that God had a strict set of orders to get the Israelites ready for the plague hitting the land as we do today. The one we focus on the most is putting the blood around the door post. But this story talks about so much more. It talks about how they were to prepare their food. It goes into things like taking into consideration how many folks were in a household. How much a person will eat. In what manner to not to eat the food. How to get rid of the leftovers. How to dress while they eat. Even down to how fast to eat. All of these orders would seem to be extreme in an average situation but to them it was life or death. In the same way, today we have been given a set of guidelines that are supposed to help save our lives. Now I am also not getting into the conversation about Christians not needing to do what has been mandated by the government. That is between you and your God. I am again making a comparison of the similarities on the extreme measures they took in the bible and what we are doing today. Now what I was referring to earlier about the Israelites being given a Stay-In-Order is in verse 22. God specifically says “None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning”. Yes, this did come from God and not the government but what I am highlighting here is how the people responded to the situation they were in until the plague passed over. Just like us, Israel had to adjust to those rules and learn to sit tight in the house while all hell was breaking loose around them. Just like we wake up every morning to the latest news report of how many people have died, their news report was listening to the Egyptians around them wailing over the dead bodies they found in their homes. To put it simple, they had to trust that God would preserve them through a tragic time. We must do the same and wait for our morning to come, no matter how long it takes because it will eventually come. And how ironic that all this was happening around what could be considered the first Easter. Now let’s take a look at another Easter story where the people of God were shut in.
It is Easter night. The disciples are locked in the house but this time it wasn’t because of a command from God, it was out of fear of the people that killed Jesus. They too had to deal with the loss of a loved one when just a few days earlier they watched him die a terrible death. In verse 13, Mary stood at Jesus grave and said these words, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.” Doesn’t that sound like those who have lost loved ones today. A lot of folks don’t even know where they have been taken. They just pack them up in a truck and throw them in some ditch. The disciples also had to deal with the fear that it may happen to them next if they came out of the house. Look at the high range of emotions here. Now ask yourself this question: Are you staying in the house out of fear or out of wisdom and common sense? It’s ok that you are staying in and being safe. But why? There is a lot of pressure as a Christian to be brave and believe that nothing will happen to us during this time. And God willing it won’t. There is also a silent guilt being projected on Christians if you decide to take a break from congregating with people. Christians are questioning whether they should be wearing mask & gloves and practicing Social Distancing. There are a wide range of reasons people are doing what they are doing. Some folks are at higher risk than others due to pre-existing conditions. Some folks have families and small children to considers. Some folks just simply may have symptoms and don’t want to expose others to them. So, it’s not always a matter of not having enough faith. But you have to decide for yourself if you are shut in out of fear or out of wisdom. Now on the other-hand there is pressure to be afraid of everything and to feel like you can never go outside. There is pressure to overreact in the most common scenarios like going to the store or places you need to go to do the things you need to do. This type of mindset I would say is based in fear and is exactly where the disciples in this story were operating from. The most awesome part about this story is that Christ entered their situation behind closed doors and encouraged them by saying “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” This is the secret weapon to survive during this time. The peace of God. Not only did he give them peace but he gave them the authority to go out amongst those whom they were afraid of. Now if you read down a little further to verse 26, about a week later they were back in the same situation, locked up in the house, meaning they didn’t quite get it the first time. LOL!! But that’s ok. The point to all this is that fear is going to do its job and attack but each of us personally have to find our own way to overcome and that may look different than some people. We all have to define for ourselves what works for us and our family. But we cannot be ruled by fear of this disease or even the fear of what others think. That is unnecessary added pressure to what we are already facing. Look at how Jesus responded the second time he caught them shut up in the house in verse 26. He gave them the exact same encouragement he gave before. “Peace be with you.” He understands our tendency to fear and is more than willing to help us overcome it and even comfort us through it. And again, how ironic is it that the people of God had to face similar conditions around the actual very first Easter. We are no strangers to trials on this holiday weekend. It’s a part of our spiritual heritage. In conclusion, whether we are like the Israelites who stayed in out of adhering to instructions of wisdom or we are like the disciples that stayed in out of fear, God is willing to meet us were we are and help us get through this situation. Let’s not let COVID-19 kill Jesus. Happy Easter and more importantly Happy Resurrection Sunday!!
Guest Post Written by Mo Diggs
- Date - April 13, 2020