2 Chronicles 29:20-24
Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.…
By the sacrifices now offered to Jehovah, by the sin offerings and the burnt offerings, the king and the representatives of the people laying their hands upon the heads of the slain animals (ver. 23), three distinct sentiments were expressed, three several spiritual states were passed through - confession of sin, atonement offered for sin, consecration of themselves to the service of God. Here was made the most public and solemn acknowledgment that could be made of the guilt which the nation had incurred by its apostasy; here was an appeal made to the mercy of God in his appointed way of sacrificing the goats and of laying the hand upon their heads; and here was, through the burnt offerings, a formal and deliberate dedication of themselves to Jehovah for the future. These three experiences are the radical and essential experiences through which penitent and godly men must always pass.
I. CONFESSION. Not always, not often national, as on this occasion (text). Net always, not often now, admission of idolatrous reaction. But always confession of sin - of departure from God, of the neglect of his holy will, of a rebellious exalting of our will against his, of unlikeness to him in the spirit we have been breathing and in the principles on which we have been acting, of doing or saying or being that which has grieved his Holy Spirit. And our confession of sin is likely to be heard and accepted, not because it is couched in the most approved language, but because it is the most simple and honest utterance of our hearts.
II. PROPITIATION. Not that God asks now of us a sacrifice for sin. There has been "one sacrifice [offered] for sins for ever." He is "the Propitiation for the sins of the whole world." But we come to plead that one Sacrifice as offered for our sins; we come to God to pray that that one Propitiation may be accepted on our behalf. We come to "lay our hand on that dear head" of Christ, the Lamb of God. We ask that the abounding and abiding mercy of God may, for his sake, cover our guilt and rest upon our soul And thus, by a living faith, we apply and appropriate to ourselves "the common salvation" - that "righteousness which is through the faith of Christ." Thus is our sin "borne away" into the land of utter forgetfulness, and we ourselves are "brought nigh by the blood of Christ."
III. CONSECRATION. The consumption of the entire animal in the burnt offering symbolized the entire consecration of the offerer to the Lord. This was the significance of those offerings now presented (ver. 24). Hezekiah and his people now offered themselves anew unto the Lord God of their fathers. Their sin being purged, themselves having been forgiven and accepted, they dedicated themselves to God for the coming time. With us:
1. Consecration attends our entrance upon the Divine life; when we seek the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, we "yield ourselves unto God as those alive from the dead."
2. Consecration is a spiritual act continually renewed. It should be an act in which we offer to our Divine Redeemer our whole selves;
(1) our entire nature (body and spirit);
(2) our whole life, thenceforwards - at all times, in every sphere, under all conditions. - C,
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.