#Holy Week · #Plagues · Spirituality

Three Plagues

I laughed out loud when I read my friend Christy Bass Adams’ post about chasing a mouse around her house one quiet evening. You can read it here at her blog, Learning As I Go.

We once had a similar experience chasing a baby squirrel around the house. It faced the same consequences as the mouse in Christy’s story, which involved being on the wrong end of a BB gun.

Last week we found evidence in our kitchen that some mice had been playing around in the drawers and nibbling on my dark chocolate in the pantry. Fortunately, we did not have to chase any around the house but caught three in traps Keith set out. Yuck!  I threw out and cleaned everywhere I thought they had been. Our kitchen is now booby trapped for any other creatures that dare come in.

A few months ago we had our annual infestation of lady bugs, which love our white frame house. I was sweeping up dustpans full every day, so we finally set off some bug bombs in the attic. That resulted in hordes of ugly black flies which fell drunkenly all over the floor and on every surface in the front of the house. More sweeping and vacuuming. Ugh.

Lady bugs, flies, and mice — what next? I am feeling like we are in the middle of a Biblical plague.

God sent the plagues to the Egyptians to try to convince Pharaoh to allow the Hebrew slaves to leave. Working through Moses and Aaron, God wanted to show Pharaoh how powerful He was.

Yet, throughout the months of the ten plagues, God protected the Hebrews from the worst of them. They did not have to endure the swarms of flies or the deaths of their livestock. He warned them before the plague of hail so that they could bring in their animals and make sure they were not out in the fields. And when darkness settled over all of Egypt, the Hebrews had light in their homes.

Most famously, God told the Hebrews to kill a lamb and put its blood on their doorframes on the night of the Plague of the Firstborn, when the Angel of Death would come to take all the firstborn sons and animals. When Pharaoh’s own son died, his heart was finally moved and he conceded to allow the Hebrew slaves, their families, and their livestock to leave.

From that time forward, the Jewish people have celebrated Passover, commemorating the Death Angel passing over the homes of the Hebrews and sparing their sons, and the release of the people to freedom.

Jesus and his disciples were having their Passover meal when he broke the news to them that it would be their last one together. As we celebrate Holy Week at our churches, many of us will be having Communion to remember this important event in our story as Christians.

I love the symbolism found in the Passover meal and the Last Supper. Just as the Hebrews were set free from their slavery, we have been set free from sin. When Jesus took the bread and cup of wine and shared it with these men and women who had spent almost every day with him for the last three years, he explained that he now represented the lamb that was sacrificed for Passover. Just as the blood of the lamb protected the Hebrews from death, we are saved by the blood he shed.

As I take the cup and unleavened bread this year, I am reminded that God will not let the plagues overcome me. When those days come that bring circumstances more serious than flies and mice, I have the confidence that I do not have to go through it alone.