Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most of us believers throughout much of the world may not be able to celebrate Easter in our churches this year on next Sunday. At least two passages in Scripture lead me to wonder if we should celebrate Easter in our churches later this year instead of not observing it at all.
Provision in the Law
In the Law, God commanded the celebrating of the Passover a month later than its normal time under certain circumstances:
Numbers 9:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. 11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
The Example of Hezekiah
On one occasion in his reign, godly king Hezekiah directed the Israelites to celebrate the Passover one month later than usual:
2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
2 Chronicles 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. . . . 15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.
Scripture provides both divine instruction and godly example for the celebration of a key religious holiday one month later than its usual time when circumstances necessitated it or warranted it for some appropriate reason. Given our inability to celebrate Easter this year in our churches this next Sunday, these passages lead me to think that we should celebrate Easter later this year rather than foregoing it completely.
What do you think?