Jesus our Great Intercessor – 2 Chronicles 30:1-27

This passage presents such a beautiful picture of the life and
ministry of Jesus Christ. Hezekiah calls out to a people who have
long forgotten how to worship God properly and appropriately. In
fact his father, Ahaz, had actually closed the temple doors,
effectively preventing the right worship of God from being taught or
practiced. Yet upon ascending the throne, Hezekiah calls to the
people of Israel and Judah to return to the Lord. Specifically, he
invites them to return to Jerusalem and worship the Lord through the
Celebration of the Passover. Many refuse, as do many today, but many
also respond by arriving in Jerusalem. But there is one problem,
they are unprepared. The Word says they were "not consecrated" and
"had not purified themselves". In fact they aren't even able to kill
their own sacrifices and the priests are insufficient in number to do
the task either. Furthermore, they fail to eat the meal in the
prescribed manner. To you or I, that may sound ludicrous, you are
apostate, you return to the temple and you still don't do it right.
(Isn't this why your forefathers were carried into exile?) Yet
Hezekiah realizes something profound – the heart is more important
than the liturgical action being performed properly. We see it in
his prayer, "Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim,
Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they
ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed
for them, saying, "May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who
sets his heart on seeking God — the Lord, the God of his fathers —
even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary."" (2
Chronicles 30:18–19 NIV)

Such is the ministry of Christ on our behalf, we are summoned by the
King Almighty to come and worship. The edict goes out through the
ministry of the Word and He sends His Spirit into the world to
convict us and some respond, though not all. However, like these rag-
tag worshippers, we too arrive unsanctified, unclean and ill-
prepared. In fact, we are sinners but like Hezekiah, Jesus
intercedes for us and calls upon God to see our hearts, new hearts of
flesh which have been indwelt by His Holy Spirit. Jesus calls on God
to overlook our inabilities and to allow himself to not only perform
the sacrifice, but also to be our Paschal Lamb. And just as God
responds favorably to Hezekiah's intercession – "And the Lord heard
Hezekiah and healed the people."(2 Chronicles 30:20 NIV)-, so too he
responds favorably to us. And it is because of this that we can join
in the worship and rejoice in the presence of the King, for Jesus is
the door that reopens worship in the heavenly temple. Jesus is our
priest, and our kingly intercessor, He brings mercy and compassion,
provision and sustenance. Jesus is the way, and the truth and the
Life and no one enters God's temple, except through him.

May you be greatly encouraged at this picture of Jesus in the life of
Hezekiah.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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