2 Chronicles 30: 13 – 20
13 Now many people, a very great assembly, gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. 14 They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took away all the incense altars and cast them into the Brook Kidron. 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought the burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. 16 They stood in their place according to their custom, according to the Law of Moses the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had charge of the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to the Lord. 18 For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone 19 who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” 20 And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.
For decades, Israel and Judah as nations had not properly celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover. ( 2 Chron 30:26 ) On top of many of the Kings of Judah (and all the kings of Israel) allowing and even participating in the worship of foreign gods. This resulted in the temple being ransacked and left to rot. When he became king, Hezekiah immediately started turning Judah back to the LORD.
In the previous chapter, he cleaned out the temple, removing the “rubbish” from it. He But during this time, so many things were unclean, they were unable to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread at the appropriate time, (2 Chron 30: 2-3) So they decided to hold it a month later when they could purify what was needed.
So, they sent word all around the lands, including foreign lands with high Jewish populations that they would hold the feast in Jerusalem, and everyone was welcome. So a great multitude showed up to celebrate. For seven days the feast went on, people were singing and praising the LORD. But many of the people had not sanctified themselves as they should have. It’s understandable because people had forgotten. But their hearts were pure.
May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
It’s interesting to see God’s forgiveness and His focus on the heart. Most of the time when we think of the Old Testament, we think of His Judgment and His Order, and Rules. But here, the people came and forgot to follow the rules, and still, He allowed it and healed them.
However, He still looked into their hearts. Hezekiah’s prayer was over those who had prepared their hearts. If you were unclean of both body and heart then it didn’t matter. His grace was applied based on the heart.
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
As Christians, we have an ordinance that we follow based on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When we partake of Communion it is for Christians who have prepared their hearts. We don’t have to go through purification and cleansing rituals of our bodies anymore. Our hearts, however, are to be clean and prepared. When we partake of this Communion, God examines our hearts. For He judges on our hearts, not our standing in society or even the Church.
We are called to examine our hearts before we worship Him. This should be done before we read His Word, go to Church or any form of worship. It doesn’t mean that you can’t worship if you find that you have done something wrong. Because if you’re honest with yourself, most days, you will find something unclean in your heart. But we are called to see that spot and the Holy Spirit will convict you of it when you examine your heart. Then, in the worship, acknowledge your sin and ask forgiveness. That is what it means. If only perfect people went to church, it would be empty.
Don’t let your past sins keep you from God.
Before you go on with your day, examine your heart. Ask God to see as He sees, and then ask Him to create a new heart within you.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me
– Psalm 51:20