2 Kings 23:21-27

Passover Reinstituted

21 Then the king commanded all the people saying, “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 Surely such a Passover had not been celebrated from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was observed to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover, Josiah [l]removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might [m]confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

26 However, the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath with which His anger burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. 27 The Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the [n]temple of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”

It’s quite a statement to say that Josiah and the people celebrated the Passover like no other before or after them. Even further, the passage states that “there was no king like Josiah who turned to the Lord with all his soul and all his might.” Yet it was not enough to cover up the sings of the previous generation. No matter how good Josiah was, no matter how devoted or zealous, he could not undo the wrongs of Israel and Judah.

Yet One would come whose blood could cover the sings of all mankind, and so it’s interesting that the writer makes this great contrast: look how amazing Josiah was… but it was not enough! The writer may not have been thinking of the future Messiah when he wrote the words, but surely God saw it and wept at the price He would pay to redeem mankind. His people, call by His name, who could not find it in their hearts to remain faithful, He would pay the ultimate sacrifice to rescue them once and for all.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and Christmas will be here soon. What more could we be thankful for, but that we have a God who is also our ultimate Father. A father who laid down His son’s life for ours. Indeed, a God who is also the Son who did lay down his life for ours. And a God who is the Spirit who dwells in those who are His own.

Certainly, we thank God for His provision, we thank God for live abundant, and we even need to be thankful for the hard times in our lives. But thank Him always for the love that drove Him to take the most drastic action imaginable, to send His son to take our place and be our Redeemer.

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