The world is hunkered down, practicing strict social-distancing, and many have even been quarantined trying to prevent the spread of, and avoid catching, this deadly virus known as COVID-19. For the kids across the land, schools are shut down for the rest of the year. California, just yesterday, was put on a statewide lock down. Virginia, our state, was soon to follow. It soon began to sink in that what the governor’s ban on assemblies meant was that the church doors will be shut tight on Easter Sunday. But the good news is that the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday, or Passover, has the power to shut the Corona-virus down!
In a recent message, Pastor Benny Hinn said, “We have lost the meaning of communion.” He also reminds us that “nothing happens with God without having dinner with God.” For example, he shared how even though Abraham had the promise of God for 25 years, nothing happened until one day God stopped by and had lunch with him. Later, Jesus has a dinner with his disciples the night before he was crucified where he break bread and lifted up the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:19-20).” In other words, every promise in the new covenant is ratified or put in effect by his blood. In the words of Hinn, “Eating ignites the covenant.” The reason we lost the meaning and the power of communion, according to Hinn, is that most of us take the bread and cup as symbolic of Jesus’ body and blood whereas it is his very body and blood in Spirit. What’s more, how many of us really see communion as having a meal with God?
To help recapture the meaning, let’s recall the first Passover. Egypt was a nation on red alert! A once prince, now turned prophet, has just announced one final plague; the government must comply with God’s demand to “Let His people go!” or else face the death of every firstborn in the land. Maybe one could treat this Moses as a loose cannon and hope that it would all just blow over soon if it were not for his perfect track record on the last nine plagues he predicted. But still Pharaoh refuses to listen!
What could be so powerful as to prevent the spread of this deadly plague from seeping its way in the cracks and crevices of every house in the land? God gave special instructions for every household to prepare and eat a meal together! This special meal would be forever be known as the Lord’s Passover. At twilight, every family was chose a one year old lamb with no blemishes and sacrifice it. They were to take the blood of this sacrificial lamb and smear it on the top and sides of their door frames. That night they were to roast the meat and “eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast (Ex. 11:8).” They were to eat it fully dressed and with urgency! As God passes through the land that night to executing judgment “against all the gods of Egypt,” the blood on the door frames would serve as a sign. God assured them, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you. The plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt (Ex. 12:12-13).”
Thinking about what Pastor Hinn said about eating a meal with God as I read through this Passover account, I didn’t see anything about God sitting down and eating the meal with every household. Or maybe it was hidden between every line! The text did however, say that the meal was “the Lord’s Passover” (Ex. 12:11, 27), and the covenant was certainly “ignited!” I’d say if while the whole land was wailing from the agony of the plague of the death of the firstborn and not even a dog was barking in the land of Goshen, the peace of God they experienced could only be because of one thing; the very presence of God was over Goshen and felt in every household! Not only was God present at the meal, there was healing and protection for everyone who followed God’s instructions.
As we prepare for this Passover season, let’s be aware that God wants to eat a meal with us too! Let’s also be aware that Christ is for us the sacrificial Lamb of God and our passover (1 Cor. 5:7). Hinn also noted that the first Passover was a type of the cross and every time when a type of the cross was shown in Scripture, people were healed. This season, and especially with all the rampant fear in the land with the Corona pandemic, remember that if people were protected and healed under a type of the cross, how much should we who have the fullness of the cross of Christ walk in our covenant promises of healing and protection?