A Christ-less Gospel
9/22 Reading Portions: 2 Samuel 18; 2 Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 25; Psalm 73
“…I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 2 Samuel 18:29
In his life, Absalom was a type of Cain when he murdered his brother, Amnon (2 Sam 13:30); and he was also a type of Satan in usurping the throne of David, David being a type of Adam to whom God had given dominion (Gen 1:28). In his death, Absalom was a type of Christ, for as Jesus died for sin by hanging upon a tree, Absalom also died on a tree, suspended between heaven and earth (2 Sam 18:9); albeit Absalom died for his owns sins whereas sinless Jesus died for sins He did not commit (Rom 5:17). In fact, Joab thrusting his spears into the heart of Absalom (2 Sam 18:14), prophetically foreshadowed the piercing of the Lord’s side while He hung dead upon the cross (John 19:34).
When Joab dispatched the Cushite to send news to King David of what he had seen, Ahimaaz wanted to go instead. Joab would not allow him because he was not an eyewitness to Absalom’s death; however, Ahimaaz persisted and Joab relented and let him go. Ahimaaz was fleet of foot and overtook the Cushite (2 Sam 18:23), so Ahimaaz arrived first. Ahimaaz proclaimed victory in battle, yet when David inquired about Absalom, Ahimaaz could not tell him (2 Sam 18:28-29). When the Cushite arrived, he told of what he witnessed and David wept and mourned for Absalom “as one mourns for an only child, and [weeps] bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn” (Zech 12:10).
Today in American churches, there seems to be much ado about salvation, yet no witness of Christ’s death upon the tree. There can be no penitent, godly sorrow unto salvation (2 Cor 7:10) without the message of a personal witness to Christ’s sacrificial death. May we never be asked to stand aside because we have carried before the Lord a Christ-less gospel.
A message which shouts victory,
Yet, forsakes our Lord’s death,
Brings not salvation, but mis’ry
And vanity at best.
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