2 Chronicles 30:17-20
As the nation experienced sudden spiritual reformation, many people came and participated in celebrating Passover even without completely adhering to the strict rules of the Law. The Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for those who were unclean (verse 17). Many were permitted to eat the Passover who were not purified according to the strictness of the Law (verse 18). Humanly speaking we may think that this situation should be understandable especially as this Passover was celebrated on the second month of each year. One had to wait for the following year to celebrate the Passover if one misses this occasion.
However, Hezekiah did not take this casually. He was aware of their shortcomings in observing the Law. Therefore he interceded for them that they might not trespass against God’s holiness and bring God’s wrath upon them. The recorded prayer of Hezekiah is a short but profound one. This prayer teaches us a few things.
The ultimate thing that is required as we come to God in worship and sacrament is to set our hearts to seek God, His favor and His honor, and that we be sincere and upright in all we do. This means that our attitude in approaching God is important as it reflects the preparedness of our heart.
The failure to fully adhere to the law requires pardoning and healing grace. If God should deal with us in strict justice, according to the best of our performance, we will still be under His wrath.
We should be encouraged by the goodness of God to come before Him even when we fail to live up to His standard. The devil will tempt us to run away from God when we fail and make us doubt the goodness of God.
The Lord was well pleased with Hezekiah’s concern for the congregation and in answer to his
prayer, God healed the people (v.20). The healing of the people denotes not only forgiveness but also acceptance, comfort and peace. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb once again reminds us that it foreshadows the work of God in providing for us the once and final Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our redemption. In Christ, God does not count our sin against us but graciously accepts us.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)