“Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem.” Like Hezekiah, his great-grandfather, Josiah called the covenant community back to a sincere observance of the festival that celebrated the payment of Israel’s sin through the shedding of the blood of the Passover lamb.
Josiah followed the patterns of worship established by Moses and David. He was not seeking to be an innovator, but to be faithful to the traditions that were contained in the Word of the Lord. He was willing to give out of his own possessions in order to see that the Passover was kept and he encouraged the other leaders among the Lord’s people to do the same.
This celebration of the Passover, including the faithfulness of the king and all the priests and Levites, was a great moment in the history of Israel. Within a few years this good king would be gone. He had led Israel in the proper ritual that the Lord had commanded, but he could not save the people of God.
The situation surrounding the death of Josiah was the only blemish on his otherwise exemplary life. His insistence that he go out against the forces of Neco, king of Egypt, was a rejection of a surprising instruction from God that came to him through the leader of this enemy nation. Josiah’s time on this earth had come and gone, and lesser men would take his place.
Hundreds of years later, Josiah’s best descendent would be hailed by mocking soldiers as the king of the Jews. He would die a horrible death, but unlike Josiah, His death was His greatest act of obedience.
Jesus died as the Passover Lamb. Now He leads His people as we offer up our bodies to God as living sacrifices. He died on a cross for us. We take up our cross daily and follow Him.