Coronavirus peaked approaching the holy week celebration.
Little do we know, the holy week celebration happens simultaneously with the Feast of Passover of the Jews.
We are now seeing a reset in the whole world as this pandemic sweeps through every nation.
The world was shaken by a pandemic as the newest trending virus, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), spreads throughout the continents in a matter of two months or so. We have seen how hell was broken loose in our time and day. We saw how airports were shut down, hospitals were full at maximum capacity, restaurants were closed, checkpoints on every street, panic buying in the market and undeniable death toll around the world.
Watching all these happening around us, it seemed I am watching a 3D film about the plagues in the time of Moses. The COVID-19 scare is apparent and malificently destructive to the social and mental health of today’s humanity. It is also notable that the peak of this pandemic is approaching the world’s commemoration of the holy week. Having a pandemic at this gravity during the holy week makes our celebration real more than ever.
Holy Week is a remembrance of Jesus entering Jerusalem up to his resurrection. At this time, he knew his hour was drawing near so he had to return to Jerusalem to fulfill the very reason he was on earth.
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”
But little did we know, Jesus went up to Jerusalem at a specific Jewish feast. It was nearing the Feast of Passover when he started his way back. This is also the reason why people started to flock around temple courts as written in chapter two of the Book of John.
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. -John 2:13
If we want to grasp the core value of the holy week, we have to understand the Feast of Passover and its relevance to Jesus Christ going up to Jerusalem. This has been the silent piece of the resurrection story. I am writing this to bring us to the reality of how we are now in the middle of a pandemic remembering the essence of holy week.
The Feast of Passover is a major Jewish holiday and one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays around the world. It is rooted and instituted after the Israelites had an exodus (exit) from Egypt’s slavery.
The “Passover” is a term used to describe what happened at the worst and last plague that happened in Egypt before the Israelites were released in freedom to worship their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. On that midnight, death will sweep the whole land…
“and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals.” (Exodus 11:5)
This feast was also a distinction between two people on that night, the Egyptians, and the Israelites. “Now the blood shall be a sign for you [Israelites] on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will PASS OVER you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
Now, we are celebrating the holy week which happened in the Feast of Passover. Here are noteworthy points for this year’s celebration.
Death is visible in a multitude.
There was a death toll during the Passover. To how they die, no one can explain except that a warning was given before midnight. It seemed like the death count in their time is roughly seen with the infected cases we have all around the world.
No work shall be done in these days.
The Israelites can only dress up to prepare food as commanded. “No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you.” (Exodus 12:16) The only reason for Israelites to go out from their homes aside from gathering and preparing the food within the property is to go and work for the Egyptians. In those days, they are to stay at home and eat whatever was prepared. It seemed like a “stay at home” order of today.
There was a blood sacrifice that was done to cover the Israelites as death shall pass over them.
Now, it is believed to be a foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross being the lamb of God. “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29)
We are now seeing a reset in the whole world as this pandemic sweeps through every nation. As Christians who celebrate the holy week in the middle of a pandemic (formerly known as a plague in the Bible), let us remember the promise of the Feast of Passover. Those who are under the blood shall see the sunrise after death screams on a midnight hour. Christians are blood-bought by the Lamb of God who was a sacrifice once and for all.
“And in accordance with this will [of God] we [who believe in the message of salvation] have been sanctified [that is, set apart as holy for God and His purposes] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
“This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:2)
So, keep your faith in the midst of this pandemic. We shall see our new beginning after it leaves the earth. Let us embrace the power of the resurrection.