"They gathered their brothers and consecrated themselves and went in as the king had commanded, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. The priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron. They began to consecrate on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the LORD. Then for eight days they consecrated the house of the LORD, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king and said, 'We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the showbread and all its utensils. All the utensils that King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he was faithless, we have made ready and consecrated, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.' " - 2 Chronicles 29:15-19 ESV
In the verses to follow King Hezekiah would order the offerings to be made and there would be worship.
"And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly." - 2 Chronicles 29:36 ESV
This whole chapter is a picture of conversion. I want to read it again and again and ask God to show me the little details and nuances that are found in these passages. This morning verses fifteen through nineteen really stuck in my mind.
I have never killed an animal and offered it up to God nor do I need to. Jesus is my priest and my offering. I have however taken out the trash and done the dishes. I have helped people move and done demo on a structure where the broken up structure needed to be dragged out and thrown into a dumpster.
A clean empty sink is a wonderful thing isn't it? Someone must clean the utensils.
You could preach a very legalistic message using this passage... a 'How can you worship if your house has not been cleaned first? Clean up your house.' sermon.
But if you look King Hezekiah isn't the one who cleaned up the mess. The priests did it.
Our priest is the One who does this work. He cleans and He offers. We reap the benefit of His work.
"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God." - Hebrews 9:11-14 ESV
"When he said above, 'You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings' (these are offered according to the law), then he added, 'Behold, I have come to do your will.' He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God" - Hebrews 10:8-12 ESV
No one wants faithless artifacts cluttering up our life. God will take them away if we let Him. The water of the Word can wash us clean. The sacrifice has already been made.