King Hezekiah, invited the tribes of Israel and Judah to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the first Passover to be held on a national scale for many years. He was very keen to celebrate the Passover as soon as possible so as to begin on a new journey dedicated to the Lord immediately. That meant having the festival a month later than usual, it meant a lot of the people who took up Hezekiah’s invitation would not have time to make the necessary preparations in order to ensure that they were ritually clean in time even with the Passover being celebrated late. What I love about this story is the king’s excitement to waste no time in turning the kingdom back to the Lord. And his faith that the Lord would overlook the ritual requirements in order to accept the repentance of his people.
2 Chronicles 30:10-20 NLT
The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the Lord. So a huge crowd assembled at Jerusalem in mid spring to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. They set to work and removed the pagan altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley. On the fourteenth day of the second month, one month later than usual, the people slaughtered the Passover lamb. This shamed the priests and Levites, so they purified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Temple of the Lord. Then they took their places at the Temple as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The Levites brought the sacrificial blood to the priests, who then sprinkled it on the altar. Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites had to slaughter their Passover lamb for them, to set them apart for the Lord. Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.
Christians today fear the laughter that Hezekiah’s runners experienced as they delivered his message to the people of Israel. However, some of those who heard the message humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem for the Passover. It’s still the same today, most will laugh at the message of the Bible, but not all of them will. My goal is to complete my task of running my King’s message out to his people.
2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21, Romans 15:1-22, Psalms 25:1-15, Proverbs 20:13-15