Where Restoration Starts
Title: Where Restoration Starts
Reading for May 22: Ezra 4-7
On the fourteenth day of the first month, the returned exiles kept the Passover... And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Ezra 6:19, 22
Where does restoration begin?
In the three great restorations in the Old Testament (Hezekiah, Josiah, and the return to the land after exile) we see a common practice: the Passover was remembered!
What was the significance of the Passover? How did it encourage true restoration? The Passover was a reminder of what God had done in saving Israel from bondage in Egypt. Thus, the Passover was critical in reestablishing their identity. They were the people of God. They owed him all their heart, soul, strength, and mind. The Passover was a powerful reminder of that to God's people.
In the New Testament, Christ is called our Passover (1 Cor 5:7). He was slain as a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Pet 1:18-19) so that we might be set free from our bondage to sin (Rom 6:12-23). As often as we eat the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, we remember what our Lord and Savior did for us redeeming us from our slavery (1 Cor 11:23-26).
It is this memory that brings about restoration. We owe the Lord everything (2 Cor 5:14-15; Gal 2:20). The reason why we don't give diligence to our spiritual growth is because we've forgotten that we were cleansed from our old sins (2 Pet 1:9). That's why we must constantly come back to the cross and bow down at his pierced feet in reverence and with deep gratitude in our hearts (Heb 12:28).
Father, as we remember your Son on the first day of the week, may it provoke in us a desire to more fully love and serve you in real and tangible ways.