The New Testament continually refers to Christ’s death on the cross to pay for our sin and His resurrection from the dead to offer us new life. The books of Acts through Revelation describe the ways that the church works out the demands and implications of the Person and work of Christ. Every New Testament book addresses the themes of atonement, redemption, forgiveness, and what was accomplished “in Christ.”
In a similar manner, the Old Testament makes repeated reference to the Lord who “brought [Israel] up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Judges 6:8). The story of Israel, recorded in the books from Exodus to Malachi, shows God’s work to bring the people He rescued from bondage into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. His work included the Passover—the festival pointing back to Israel’s redemption from Egypt.
God prescribed the annual Passover feast, including a means for unclean persons to partake of Passover in the second calendar month rather than the first (Num. 9:9–10). But the people had not gathered to celebrate Passover together in years (v. 5). Now, in response to Hezekiah’s invitation, people gathered from across Judah and even some from the tribes in Israel (vv. 11–15).
The practice of this renewed Passover was not perfect; some people were not purified as the Law required. But because people had hearts that longed to worship God, the Lord overlooked the imperfections in His mercy. With Hezekiah’s intercession, the Lord healed them rather than bringing judgment upon them (vv. 18–20). The people received many extended blessings of grace from remembering the Lord’s redemption. Notice how many times the words joy or rejoicing appear in this text. Worship will lead to joy!
As spring break ends and undergraduate courses resume, pray for the Intercultural Studies faculty. May God bless Clive Craigen, Mary Cloutier, Mary Hendrickson, and Michael Rydelnik with energy and stamina to finish the semester strong.