In Lockdown With Israel


I’m sure you remember the story when God’s people were slaves in Egypt and despite God sending plague after plague, Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go.

In Exodus 12 we read about the preparations which were to be made for the last plague, which was the death of the firstborn children and animals.

‘Moses assembled all the elders of Israel. He said, select a lamb for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the bowl of blood and smear it on the lintel and on the two doorposts. No one is to leave the house until morning.’ Exodus 12:21-22

Moses was instructed to tell the Israelites, that each family should take a lamb and bring it into their home. They were told to slaughter the lamb and take some of its blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of their home.

Notice that they were to ‘stay in their house until morning’.

Over the past few months, the whole world has become accustomed to the word ‘lockdown’, in reference to the coronavirus.

Our freedom of movement was taken away from us, we couldn’t go for a coffee, have a meal in a restaurant or have our hair cut, and we certainly couldn’t get together for fellowship or meet in our places of worship.

All these measures were in place and some continue to be in place for our own safety and to stop, or at least slow down the spread of the virus.

What do you think would be going through the minds of God’s people as they were instructed to stay indoors for only one night?

What do you think they would have spent the night doing?

How difficult would it have been if a household had young children?

What would you do if the children or you wanted to pop out to the bathroom?

How would you explain what was going on to your children?

When you wake up in the mourning and you heard all the wailing from those who had lost their firstborn child, what would you say to those parents who lost their child?

I’m sure that some people would have comforted their friends and maybe others would be thinking to themselves, ‘why didn’t they just stay at home? If they did stay at home, their child would still be alive!’

I’m sure during the Passover there would have been people who thought to themselves, ‘I’ll just pop outside for a bit, what harm can it do! It’s not going to hurt anyone else.’

I’m sure some people would have thought to themselves, ‘I’m an Israelite, God won’t take my firstborn son!’

Although this was a time of great rejoicing for Israel and the other nations, it was also a time of deep sorrow as thousands of families would have lost their firstborn child because they refused to listen to God’s instructions.

I can imagine all those other nations who were slaves to the Egyptians hearing what the God of Israel was going to do.

The Bible tells us that they too, including some Egyptians, must have followed Moses’ instructions because they too were delivered from slavery.

And I’m sure that some people even today are thinking to themselves, ‘I won’t catch this virus, that won’t happen to me, this virus isn’t all that bad, if I go out and ignore the regulations, it’s not going to hurt anyone else!’

Jesus is our Passover Lamb who was slaughtered so that we may be saved. His blood is the sacrifice that covered the penalty for our sins once and for all.

‘For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.’ 1 Corinthians 5:7

Have you ever wondered why Jesus died on the Passover rather than the day of atonement?

‘He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!’ Hebrews 9:12-14

He died on Passover because Passover was an event that was never to be repeated.

The day of atonement meant sacrificing animals every single year. But Christ’s death and the sacrifice of His blood were done once and for all and never to be repeated.

By applying the blood of Jesus to our lives through salvation, we’re saved from eternal damnation and are granted everlasting life instead.

Most of the world has been ‘isolating’ for months now, and so, while we’re stuck in our homes, what should we be doing?

‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.’ Matthew 6:6

During our time of ‘isolation’, it’s the perfect time to build our prayer life and pray not only for ourselves but for everyone in the world.

Yes, we should be praying for all the frontline workers, carers and volunteers.

Yes, we should be praying that people will stop and think about their eternal salvation.

But we shouldn’t forget to pray for all those families who have lost their children, their mums and dads, their aunties and uncles, their grandparents, their brothers and sisters, their cousins and their friends.

We shouldn’t forget to offer them the comfort that we ourselves receive from God in our times of distress.

‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God will see us through this pandemic, as He saw His people through the Passover.

Stay blessed, stay focused, and stay in Christ.