Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel.
2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month.
3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem.
4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly.
5 They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.
6 At the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: "People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7 Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.
8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the LORD. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.
9 If you return to the LORD, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."
10 The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but people scorned and ridiculed them.
11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.
12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.
13 A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month.
14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the LORD.
16 Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them by the Levites.
17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs "to the LORD.
18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone
19 who sets their heart on seeking God —the LORD, the God of their ancestors —even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary."
20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests praised the LORD every day with resounding instruments dedicated to the LORD. [^2]
22 Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the LORD. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised "the LORD, the God of their ancestors.
23 The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully.
24 Hezekiah king of Judah provided a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats for the assembly, and the officials provided them with a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep and goats. A great number of priests consecrated themselves.
25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel, including the foreigners who had come from Israel and also those who resided in Judah.
26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life —not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —
not by works, so that no one can boast.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
24 "'"The LORD bless you and keep you;
25 the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."'
May the favor "of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!