With the new Temple come renewed celebrations. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as there is time to prepare for Passover again.
The Temple is finally finished and dedicated. “And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king” (verse 14). The next month in the calendar is Nissan, which God proclaimed as the first month of the year for the Torah. Passover is to be observed on the 14th of Nisan.
Following the Jewish calendar can be a bit confusing to those of us who don’t use it in our daily lives. There are actually two calendars for the Jews. The religious calendar and the secular one. In the religious calendar, as stated earlier, Nisan is the first month. In their secular one Nissan is the seventh or eighth month. It changes depending on if there is another month added to realign the calendar with the phases of the moon.
The point here is that the Temple was dedicated less than a month ago. The priests and Levites had just completed their ceremonial cleansing for the dedication so they have little to do to be clean for the upcoming Passover, other than staying ‘clean.’ This year there will be no need to delay Passover as Hezekiah had to.
Israel also invited others who wanted to celebrate the Passover with them. There would be no exceptions this year for those who were not clean. Hezekiah, his first year to renew Passover, asked God to pardon all those who attended who had not taken the time to cleanse themselves prior to the event. They were allowed to eat the Passover with Israel that year. This year ALL were clean that partook of the meal. There was also a smaller crowd so the priests and Levites could keep up with the demand.
This would be the first of many Passover celebrations observed in the new Temple. Gone were the pomegranates and ornate chains but here was a new commitment to the Lord. This temple would serve as a place for the people of Israel to meet with their God up until the time of Jesus. He Himself would grace its courts. Check out GotQuestions.org regarding Zerubbabel.
God doesn’t require that His people exhibit the greatest outward decorations and appeal. He only requires that they focus their hearts on Him. He can use the beggar on the street as easily as He can use the executive in the boardroom. All He asks for is a willingness to submit to Him, in whatever He calls you to.
Father God, please use me for Your Kingdom. I know I’m not flashy and don’t stand out from the crowd. But I love You with my WHOLE heart! And I desire to be used by You. You know the dreams I have for sharing the stories You have given me. If this is NOT what I’m supposed to do, when the time comes, make CERTAIN that I know it. I don’t want to step outside of Your will and plan for my life, even if it looks like a good idea. If it is Your will, keep the dream alive and fill me with more stories to share. Fill in ‘the holes’ in what You have already given me. Bring me stories of the people who were glossed over because their narrative didn’t jump out at me as we went along. Thank You for bring Your stories to life for me.