Prepare Your Heart and Rejoice

New JerusalemIn Genesis 2 God placed man in front of the tree of life. The tree is a picture of Jesus Christ as our spiritual food (John 6). The Old Testament symbols of our spiritual food continue from Exodus through Deuteronomy with the Passover, unleavened bread, manna, the bread of the presence, the offerings, the produce of Canaan, and the feasts.

After Deuteronomy there are records of the practice of the feasts. One that sticks with me is in 2 Chronicles 30, a Passover and feast of unleavened bread held during the reign of king Hezekiah. The hand of God was on the people of Judah (v. 12) giving them one heart to do this. Some from other tribes joined them, but many did not cleanse themselves according to the rituals in the law.

Nevertheless, “Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, May Jehovah the Good expiate for everyone who has prepared his heart to seek after God, after Jehovah, the God of his fathers, even though he is not according to the rules of purification for the sanctuary. And Jehovah heard Hezekiah and healed the people” (v. 18b-20). God cares much more for the condition of our heart than for our conduct by outward rules (for example, Matthew 15:1-20, where our heart in mentioned in v. 8, 18, 19).

So, they killed the Passover and ate and then they “held the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing” (v. 21). Then ” the whole congregation took counsel to hold the feast another seven days, and they held the feast those seven days with rejoicing” (v. 23). “And there was great rejoicing in Jerusalem” (v. 26).

The example of this feast indicates that the more we prepare and turn our hearts to seek the Lord, gather with other believers, and open to His word as our bread, the more we will rejoice.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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  1. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life” | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
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