Yes, the Temple has been completed!
And as God would have it, the time of the year the Building’s dedication coincided with Passover month!
“And the children of the captivity kept the passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month. For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.” Ezra 6:19-20, yes from the Book of Ezra!
When the original Temple (built by Solomon) was dedicated, it was NOT at Passover time! (The Jews were expected, really required, to follow certain celebrations or Holy Days each year … as prescribed by God in the Law, Leviticus 23 to be precise. They could not enjoy Passover at any time they pleased.)
Oh, how appropriate, this Passover at this time!
Appropriate because Passover reflects on God’s Mighty Power to “deliver” His people from bondage! (Originally, from Egyptian slavery!)
And now, in Ezra chapters 1-6, they’ve (again) just come out of bondage, Babylonian captivity this time. (Under the chastening Hand of God … due to their sins.)
But I have noticed one difference in today’s Text, difference between this current Celebration and the original One in Moses’ Day.
Way back then, with Moses … Exodus 12 … each Dad or each Father (each head of a household) killed the little lamb! The lamb’s blood was then to be applied to the doorposts, remember? With Dad in charge!
But now … with this later Passover (Ezra’s time) … “the priests and the Levites killed the passover for all the children of the captivity.”
A change indeed!
No longer each man of the house.
But now the Priests and Levites will do the work of slaying the many, many lambs!
One verse explains it, I think.
From the Passover celebration during the days of godly King Hezekiah … “For there were many in the congregation that were NOT SANCTIFIED: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:17
“Not sanctified,” still riddled with sin!
Therefore disqualified to slay the lamb!
So … the Levites took over the job!
What I am saying today … the Levites are serving as executioners in Ezra’s day … because the “rank and file” Jewish Dads were just NOT QUALIFIED to slay those little innocent animals … each father for his wife and children!
These men still had sins with which to dead!
And if I am right … this situation illustrates (clearly) that sin inhibits one’s serving God, at least in some capacity, to some degree!
Here are men who could not set a proper example for their families … because of something “blocking” their intimate communion with the Lord!
What a handicap!
And oh, one more example of the terribly high price of sin!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell