While revivals renew a desire for a regenerated heart, reformations materialize it into action. A decision and its implementation are two things, but in the end, both depend upon each other, resulting in the revival and reformation cycle. As the previous chapter saw Josiah’s development of a biblical revival, this chapter witnesses the three ingredients necessary in a biblical reformation.
The first is the restoration of the Passover, one of the clearest allusions to Jesus Christ. The Passover began when Israel was freed from Egypt, pointing to Christ’s blood that frees us from sin and worldly bondage and setting us on a course to Canaan. Great effort was expended to restore this Christ-centered type, from the actual sacrifice itself and the personnel involved, to a variety of smaller details. The first ingredient in reformation is to restore the Centrality of Christ, resulting in that “there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (verse 18).
The second is a consistent allusion to past scriptures. Josiah was insistent that the reformation be according to David (verses 4, 15), according to Solomon (verse 4), and according to Moses (verses 6, 12). This king ensured that harmony with the past scriptures. It was not dead tradition, but a manifestation of present truth also, as seen by the mention of King Josiah’s commandments (verses 10, 16). The second ingredient in reformation is a biblical fidelity that reveres past inspiration and finds a clear present conviction as well.
The third is the emphasis on all the people. Under the blood of the Passover, not only were they united, but they were giving up their genetic, spiritual, and personal identities for the new identity of being God’s people. It is in faith that God’s people believe that Christ’s blood flows within them. Separate tribes, strangers, or foreigners no longer exist but are new creations obsessed with Christ. All revolves around God—time, diets, identities, values, finances, affections—All. The third ingredient in reformation is the All-Factor: all peoples, all things, all of Christ.
In this reformation, priests, sanctuary items, and feasts were restored. It was not a new order but the reestablishment of the original. While other reformation actions might be different in detail, they still retain the characteristics of the Centrality of the Cross of Christ, a Biblical Basis for Belief, and an Absolute Affinity for All.