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This chapter concludes the history of Josiah. He keeps a solemn pass over. He goes to battle at Magiddo, and is slain. Is deeply lamented at his funeral by his people.
2 Chronicles 35:1
The passover which Josiah observed is mentioned in the parallel history, 2 Kings 23:0 ; but not so particularly recorded in all the circumstances of it. As this solemn service is by the Holy Ghost himself, through the apostle Paul's ministry, explained to have been typical of Jesus, perhaps it would not be unprofitable if we were to mark some of the more prominent features with which that service was observed in the Jewish church in those days of Josiah, by which we shall learn how highly the Lord prized it as an institution to lead the soul in type and shadow to the contemplation, by faith, of him who was the substance of the whole, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
First; the ministry of the priests and Levites being arranged, we find the placing the ark, taking up the most important concern, as preparatory to the service. Jesus must be first beheld in the believer's view, as the grand object of all, - the altar, the sacrifice, and the priests; for it is by virtue of him, and his all-atoning offering, we draw nigh to God.
The offerings of the people very properly came next in order, preparatory to the service. The Lord will be sanctified in all that draw nigh unto him. Leviticus 10:3 .
Matters being thus prepared, the service began. And let not the Reader overlook the employment of the priests, who it is said were busied in offering burnt-offerings and the fat until night. The sufferings of Jesus opened at the evening if we take in the garden scene, which as it formed so interesting a part undoubtedly we must. And the priests were alone engaged in this service preparatory to the great day. The sprinkling of the blood after killing the lamb, were certainly striking circumstances appointed by the Holy Ghost to lead by faith to the Saviour. Indeed everything in it was typical of the Lord Jesus. A lamb of the first year, without blemish and without spot; the setting it apart four days before; the slaying it and roasting it whole; and not a bone of it to be broken; all these were very highly significant of Jesus. And as the paschal lamb was to be eaten, and wholly eaten, nothing of it being to be left, what could more decidedly speak in reference to Jesus, who as Christ our passover is not to be looked upon only, but by faith fed upon, and lived upon, and wholly so; all Christ, and all in Christ, to form a complete Saviour: surely such views held forth to the church , both at the original institution of it after coming out of Egypt, and now again in the days of Josiah so fully revived, at a period distant from the deliverance out of Egypt of at least 850 years; nothing can more fully display the vast importance of the thing itself, and of the sense in which the Holy Ghost was pleased the church should consider it with reference to the body of Jesus Christ in his offering upon the cross for human sin once for all.
What an high encomium is this in the character of Josiah! and what a proof of the faith of Josiah's mind which he had with an eye to Christ.
We have here, as in all men, a shade to the character of Josiah. The sequel in Josiah's death proves that what Necho, king of Egypt, told Josiah, was well founded. Such a message therefore he ought to have regarded. But Josiah is in this instance a renewed evidence of the universal corruption of human nature. Where, blessed Jesus, shall we look but to thee for perfection?
We have here introduced to us Jeremiah, whose prophetical writings make so important a part in the sacred canon of scripture. This prophet began his ministry in the 13th year of Josiah, and continued it until the carrying away of the people into Babylon. The character of Josiah cannot be better ascertained than by his lamentation of Judah. For though the times were so degenerate, yet Josiah was dear to them.
But no doubt the gracious souls lamented his death, in that they considered it as a certain presage that ruin was at hand. The righteous is taken away (saith the prophet) from the evil to come. Isaiah 57:1 .
READER! in the view of this passover, and the religious observance of it by the whole kingdom of Judah, let you and I learn to prize our gospel privileges. They had the shadow, we have the substance. They looked to good things to come; we celebrate mercies fulfilled. They looked through the passover to redemption by Jesus's blood; we commemorate in the Holy Supper that redemption completed, and have our feast upon the sacrifice. Blessed Jesus! thou art the passover, the sacrifice, the altar, the ark, the whole of all the types under the law. For all pointed to thee, and in thee had their completion. Offered up upon the attar for our sins a sacrifice to satisfy the justice of God our Father, thou wert roasted in the flames of his just indignation against our sins; and thy person becomes the everlasting nourishment, the wholesome, saving, healthful food of our souls, the bread of God for poor sinners, on which they may feed, and feast, and live forever. Bread of God, I would call thee, that camest down from heaven, be thou my portion now, and to all eternity. On thee would I feed: to thee would I come, and make thee my passover, not only to preserve me from the destroying angel, and from the wrath to come, but to be my glorious entrance, and my everlasting security, joy, and happiness in the presence of God forevermore.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 35". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27