In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept. (2CH 35:19 ESV)
It had been many years, many decades, since the Passover was a kept. How welcome it must have been for many. Freedom from their bondage was purchased! Their guilt was dealt a distance death blow.
It reminds me of another great annual ceremony they were to keep, which is the Day of Atonement. The accumulated guilt of Israel was heavy and in the practice of this ceremony they see a powerful picture of God’s removal of that guilt. As the priest lays his hand on the goat and confesses the sin, the list must have been long, with years to confess. Just as it might seem too weighty, the sin too much, the goat is sent away to provide a powerful visual for the people to see God carrying away their sin from them. Out into the wilderness it goes, as far as the East is from the West. And with every step, the weight of that burden of guilt must-have felt lighter, until the goat was gone from view.
How powerful is this picture. Jesus carries our guilt away. The heavy burden that you carry need not be there. Confess it and as you do, picture that transfer from you to Christ and note the blood that promises our rescue, for he is our Passover lamb.