Israel hadn’t been celebrating the Passover as prescribed in the law. When Hezekiah was enlightened to the fact that they weren’t and that they should be he began to plan the celebration. But because of the spiritual neglect of his country they weren’t able to get everything ready on time so they deviated from the law and postponed the celebration until the next month.
So invites when out, priests got purified and the party started.
As the celebration began, it quickly became apparent that many of the common people weren’t ceremonially cleansed so they couldn’t legally take part in the feast, which was a problem. Hezekiah was concerned and prayed.
After praying, he encouraged those who hadn’t been able to get properly cleansed to join the feast anyway, deviating again from the law saying,
“…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.” 2 Chronicles 30:18-19
The Lord listens and the people celebrate the Passover, remembering what God had done to redeem his people from slavery, bringing them into the land and calling them his own treasured possession.
Hezekiah declared the good news that God takes us as we are.
When we decide to follow him it can take a lot of time to clean some of the filth out of our lives. In the meantime, we are still welcome at the table. It is at the table that we celebrate redemption; this is both the literal and figurative meaning of the Passover.
The Passover correlates to Communion. Another table where we celebrate redemption. It’s at the table that we are reminded that he is the one cleansing us. This cleansing is both complete (from a legal standpoint) and in process (from a practical standpoint). We celebrate with those around us who are in various degrees of brokenness and filth. At the table we celebrate with others who have decided to follow the Lord, the Lord who is good. And his goodness welcomes us to the table when we are not good enough to come on our own.
As I anticipate communion tomorrow I am excited to eat with my brothers and sisters who, like me, are in the process of becoming clean and whole.
Let us eat together at the table and rejoice in our Redeemer.