Summary: Josiah was a great king, in bringing the land back to God he reinstitutes key elements in keeping the land in revival.
Josiah and the Passover.
A little history about Josiah. Josiah, the last good king of Judah, was one of the most righteous king who ever lived. In fact, he is arguably the cleanest and most helpful king in Judah’s history. God spared him from seeing the exile that would occur to his immediate generation.
What make a person truly great in God’s eyes? Is it turning to Him when you get into trouble? Is it helping people when they ask? The answer might surprise you, as it surprised me! It is our attitude not our age. Josiah is 8 when he becomes King. At the age of 16 he seeks God with all his heart, at the age of 21 he brings revival to the land. It was his attitude not his age.
Yet what happens when there are no more mountains to climb, no more Giants to battle or no more goals to achieve?
The greatest chess player of all time is arguably Gary Kasparov. He was the world’s youngest-ever champion at the age of 22 and was the undisputed king the last two decades. The enigmatic and charismatic Russian Jew was known for holding his own against IBM supercomputers that could process up to 3 million chess moves per second.
Kasparov, however, shocked the world in 2005 when he announced his retirement at the young age of 41. He said part of the reasons he was retiring because he saw no real goals left to accomplish in his professional chess career.
Bushinsky, one of the IBM supercomputer programmers who met with Kasparov a month, said, Kasparov’s resignation “was in the cards.” He explained, “Like Michael Jordan, he achieved all his goals.”
Josiah, at age 21 worked to the goal of reviving a Nation. In chapter 35 he brings back the celebration of the Passover. In a few weeks I will go further into detail with the fulfillment of the Passover, but for now I wish to point out the necessity of the Passover in light of the revival.
Josiah was the last king to make a covenant with God, a practice long lost on previous kings other than the first good king, Asa (2 Chron 15:12). David (1 Kings 14:8) and Hezekiah (2 Chron 31:21) may have loved God with all their heart, BUT
Josiah made a commitment to follow the Lord and obey Him with all his heart and soul (v 31) – his everything to God.
The Chronicler’s third major topic concerning the reign of Josiah (cf. the introductory discussion to the opening of ch. 34) describes how the king celebrated a great Passover (35:1-19). Its observance served to provide a public confirmation to his reform as a whole; it resulted, indeed, from Judah’s obedience to that same rediscovered divine Law, "as it is written in the Book of the Covenant" (2 Kings 23:21). "The first month," to which the celebration is dated, is thus March/April within Josiah’s climactic eighteenth year (2 Chronicles 35:18), namely 622 B.C.; contrast the way in which Hezekiah had had to postpone the keeping of his Passover to the second month (cf. on 30:2).
The celebration of the Passover was a sign to the Nation that revival was at hand. First they had to remember what God had done. Every celebration of the Passover was a remembrance ceremony.