(27 verses, 4:59 to read)
What I am about to READ
- The Chronicler highlights the Reformation that took place under Josiah and his death.
- vv. 1-19: Josiah commemorates the Passover in accord with the Lord’s command in an extraordinary way.
- vv. 20-27: Josiah is killed in battle with Neco, Pharaoh of Egypt.
- As with Hezekiah, one of the marks of the success of Josiah’s Reformation was the restoration and great celebration of the Passover in accordance with God’s command, given through Moses to the people of Israel before they left Egypt and again after the Exodus (Exodus 12). The Passover, as you may recall, was the feast that marked God’s deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The Passover lamb was killed, and his blood marked the doors of the people of Israel, to set them apart from the Egyptians, that the Lord would pass over them and not harm them. This was to be a statute for all Israel’s days, but II Chronicles 35 shows that this celebration of God’s saving work fell into disuse.
- This feast clearly points us forward to the sacrificial death of Jesus, as chronicled in all four Gospels. Jesus’ death takes place during the week of Passover, where He fulfills the statute God gave to Israel by His own, once and for all death, and atoned for the sins of the world. This feast is replaced by the Lord’s Supper, wherein Jesus, our Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, gives us His very body and blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of our sins.
- In keeping the feast the way Josiah did, we are reminded that the kings of Israel serve as types or shadows of Christ, too. This is seen especially in Josiah’s great contribution of sacrificial animals to the laymen at the feast. Even as Josiah gave of his own wealth to his people, so also, Christ gives us, His people, heavenly treasure.
- Josiah’s death, however, comes as fulfilment of the Lord’s promise to send destruction upon Judah for the continued unfaithfulness of the people (see II Kings 20:12-19). The Egyptian Neco claims to be on a divine mission. Unfortunately, the record is not complete enough for us to get a full picture of what this means. However, we can see from this that God does work through historical figures to accomplish His purposees. In this case, the Lord’s brought Judah to repentence and would restore them again. All this, of course, is driving us closer to the fulness of time, when God would send His Son, Jesus Christ, to rule over the house of David forever.
- Prayer: O Lord, You have given us a wondrous gift in the pattern of church festivals that we might learn of Your steadfast love toward us. We pray that in the Sacrament of the Altar, You would teach us to recall the death of Jesus, that we would learn to be horrified by our sins and learn to trust that Christ alone could make atonement for us. Finally, grant that we would receive this supper and thus proclaim the death of Christ until He comes to deliver us from all evil. Amen.
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-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN
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