Roughly 700 years before the coming of Messiah, there was a king of God’s people named Hezekiah. During those days, God’s people had many kings, some good, most not so much.

Hezekiah’s history is a fascinating one, and he was described by God as “a man that did what was right in the eyes of YHVH and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” (2 Kings 2:22)

What a description! I wonder how many of us God would describe in this way?

What makes Hezekiah an even more interesting figure in the history of God’s people is that he was the first to get Passover ‘right’ in a very long time. He also facilitated the cleansing and reconsecration of the temple and priesthood. Hezekiah’s obedience, given the state of his country, was astounding. Some were in exile, some were not. Idolatry was rampant, and apathy abounded. Yet somehow, Hezekiah was able to pull God’s people together during and around the Passover.

In order to ‘do’ Passover properly, the temple had to be cleansed according to the Torah’s instructions, and the priests had to be ritually clean. Although he tried as hard as he could to meet God’s requirements for the proper observance of Passover in the appointed time, he failed. Actually, he didn’t fail per se, but the priests failed to get ‘clean,” and the people failed to ready their hearts in proper time.

And we really can’t blame them because:
1. It had been a while since God’s people had observed the holy day (they’d forgotten how to).
2. They had to relearn God’s ways.
3. Many of them had to travel from the northern and southernmost regions of Israel to get to where the Passover was to be celebrated (the Temple).
It seemed as if everything was against them. But in Numbers 9:9–12, God made provision for postponing the Passover to the 14th day of the second month for those who were unable to observe the regular Passover because they were far away on a journey or ritually unclean.

Hezekiah “and his leaders” applied this rule to the priests, since they were not yet all consecrated, and by extension to the people, since they needed the priesthood (2 Chronicles 29:2-3). Thus, the festival would be observed in this particular year in the second month. It should be noted that among Hezekiah’s leaders was probably Isaiah the prophet, who was no doubt also receiving instructions from God during this time.

So, as the Passover “Do-Over” drew near, Hezekiah took advantage of the additional time and sent runners to the farthest regions possible to get as many of God’s people as possible to participate in the Passover and Unleavened Bread feasts. Some of the runners were mocked and rejected because the ‘far away’ regions had already given themselves over to paganism and idolatry. But still, many people listened to and obeyed God’s call.

Are you a runner?

Then came the actual observance of the Passover. While Hezekiah and the priests were very careful to do all that was required in the Torah of God (2 Chronicles 30:16), some in the assembly, particularly those who did come down from the northern tribes, were not appropriately prepared for it. While the Passover was normally slain by the heads of households and the priests only sprinkled the blood on the altar, in this case the Levites killed the Passover for those who were not clean (verse 17).
Even then, eating the Passover was technically not permitted (compare Numbers 9:6–7), but because of the special circumstances and the fact that this was already the second Passover, Hezekiah prayed that God would look on the hearts of the people and forgive this transgression. And God did, healing the people—that is, their relationship with Him (2 Chronicles 30:18–20).

This is my favorite part of the story and also the part that is most applicable to me at this time. As much as they tried to get things right—right time, right date, correct procedure, etc.—they didn’t. But God did not hold it against them because Hezekiah, the obedient, prayed for them. He stood in the gap because the people’s hearts were in the right place. The combination of a righteous king, a righteous prayer, and righteous people brought HEALING to the broken relationship between God and His people and between the people themselves. Being off on the calendar, the details, and the procedure were not as important as the condition of their hearts and their genuine repentance. A true revival was wrought via God’s day — Passover.

Here’s the really fun part: The people were so caught up in the pleasure of obedience that they went on to keep the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month—AND, moved by the holy fervor, went on to keep yet another seven days of feasting and rejoicing. THAT is incredible! It gives me the chills every time I think about it.

I so very much desire that THIS PASSOVER would have the same effect on all those who would observe it as it did for Hezekiah and God’s people back then.

Final note: The genuineness of the people’s repentance did not end when ‘the event’ ended. After two weeks of dedication, worship, and mutually beneficial and uplifting camaraderie, they proceeded to destroy pagan shrines and images “until they had utterly destroyed them all”—even throughout the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh in the farthest regions of the northern kingdom (2 Chronicles 31:1).

Miguel Labrador

P.S. I pray that all of you reading this will experience the healing of your relationships with our great God by, through, and with King Jesus and The Ruach HaKo’desh (Holy Spirit). I pray that you all would be protected from anything that will ‘come at you’ to destroy or rob or harm you. I pray that your homes and hearts would be filled—FILLED with peace. I pray that God provides for all of your needs both now and in the future.

About the Seeking Scripture Team: We are a group of believers from all walks of the faith, saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. While we are of one accord in many things, we are all works in progress and lifelong learners. Therefore the opinions of one may not always represent the opinions of all.

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