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May 20 Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 30-32
“Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
1 Corinthians 5:7
When Hezekiah was made king in Judah, “he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.” But the time appointed by God to keep the passover was already over. Unwilling to allow that blessed service to go unobserved for another year, good King Hezekiah availed himself of permission given in the law of God (Numbers 9:10-11) for those who could not keep it in the first month because of uncleanness to do so in the second. Remember, the Lord’s passover sacrifice and the feast accompanying it typified Christ our Passover and his great sacrifice for our sins upon the cursed tree.
As the Old Testament passover anticipated our Savior’s sacrifice of himself for us, the Lord’s Supper in this gospel day commemorates it. As often as we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Table we “show the Lord’s death till he come.” Every Lord’s Day local churches in this gospel age observe this blessed ordinance. And we who are made kings and priests unto God by Christ Jesus carry in our bodies “the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” day by day.
Hezekiah sent word both to Judah and to Israel, calling all who named Jehovah as their God to keep the passover at Jerusalem, as God commanded. He called all who claimed to be God’s to join him in the worship of God, looking with the eye of faith to “Christ our Passover.” Both Israel and Judah had revolted; and both were called to return to the Lord, promising that if they would return to him, they would find that “the Lord your God is gracious.” Many of the people laughed the messengers to scorn and mocked them; but some “humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem” to keep the feast. And we are told that God gave them “one heart” to worship him.
What great mercy it is that the church of God (sinners saved by grace out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue) worships with one heart at God’s Altar, Christ Jesus, keeping the gospel feast by God-given faith!
As they worshipped God, “the Lord healed the people.” They prepared their hearts to seek the Lord; and they found God’s grace ready to heal their souls. Before proceeding to keep the feast, idolatry was put away. The people who would worship God must first destroy every altar to every false god. So too, if we would keep the feast of faith, the old leaven of malice and wickedness must be put away (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). There is no perfecting of holiness in the fear of God, no faith in Christ, among the multitudes who refuse to come out of Babylon. We cannot worship at the altar of freewill and the altar of freegrace (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
Hezekiah asked the Lord God to pardon and to accept the people; and God heard the king’s prayer, healing all who sought his face. What sweet gospel works are here displayed! How precious, how infinitely precious is the thought suggested by this. — There is an infinite, perpetual sin-atoning efficacy in Christ our Passover who was sacrificed for us at Calvary! The merit and virtue of his precious blood sanctifies our poor souls perpetually, giving us acceptance with the holy Lord God and healing all our souls’ diseases.
In Christ everything is sanctified. Even the most ordinary enjoyments of life are sanctified in him. The Lord God who blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus has made a covenant with everything on our behalf. He blesses his people in their basket and in their store. If Christ is yours, all things are yours. The Lord Jesus promises, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God; and he shall be my son.”
“Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God now accepteth thy works.” The garment we wear before our God is the righteousness of Christ. It is always white. And the believing sinner lacks no ointment, because the Holy Ghost sheds abroad the love and grace of God in Christ Jesus continually (Hosea 2:18-20).
At the close of the feast, the priest blessed the people according to the commandment of God (Numbers 6:22-26), with the promise of God attending the blessing (Numbers 6:27). Let every believing sinner take this word from God to his heart; apply it to every particle of your life. — “I will bless them.” Rejoice and give thanks, O my soul!