And the Temple was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy. And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Ezra 6:15-16, 21-22
About 970 years prior to this writing of Ezra, God commanded, that each family select a lamb and pen it up for four days while the lamb would be inspected for disease and other impurities. If it proved to be perfect it was to be killed and its blood was to be struck on the doorposts and the lintel of their homes as a witness to the angel that would “pass over” their dwelling and all in the house would be spared.
Through the years some Jewish people were faithful to keep the Passover but not all, but now all of the returned exiles would keep the feasts of Unleavened Bread and the Passover. After 970 years they were still celebrating their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and they did so with great joy for now they could also celebrate their deliverance from Babylonian captivity.
I don’t know about you but this begs the question, “How often, if ever, do we celebrate our deliverance from sin’s bondage?” Do you remember the date that you gave your heart to the Lord and he saved you from your sins? I am coming up on my 64th “New Birth,” birthday when I rededicated my life to Christ and He forgave the sins of my youth.
For most of those years I did not think about the importance of the date that Jesus cleansed me from my sins and restored me. Again, this year I think I should give myself a party for it truly was and is a time of joy. Why don’t you think back to the date that Jesus saved you from your sins and give yourself a party too. If the Jewish people can celebrate the Passover, why shouldn’t we celebrate our deliverance from sin? We should, so let’s do it! Amen and amen!