If Only I Had Died In Your Place


If only I had died in your place- 2 sam 18- 19-33

  • Most people enjoy a good revenge movie. We love a story of someone getting what they deserve- Mean Girls, John Wick, The Equalizer, Get Carter, Death Wish. In most movies with a villain- we love the pay off of them “Getting what they deserve” and relish in their destruction. Its satisfying! We love when the evil get punished! Feel better about ourselves- JUSTICE
  • In our minds, guilty must pay- there must be retribution and payment for evil- destruction
  • Other end- We all love a sacrificial hero story- Harry Stamper in Independence Day, Spock in Star Trek 2, Tony Stark in End Game- Avengers,  Obi Wan in Star Wars,
  • When someone is able to sacrifice themselves for others, it touches our heart strings
  • Behind these stories is the idea of- We can’t always save ourselves- we need the help of others
  • We pride our selves on self-sufficiency- but in the end- we know it’s a lie- Doctors, Police, Fire, friends. At the minimum, we need the intellect of others- you don’t discover anything no one
  • There are stories where revenge happens, where the hero dies, but  what about a story where the Hero dies for the villain on whom there is supposed to be revenge?
  • In todays story, we see Absalom is dead and the news gets to his father- David
  • David isn’t perfect, and he isn’t God- but we see in this story a preview of the heart of Jesus
  • V 33 “My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!
  • Absalom was David’s son- who had stole his kingdom from him. Rebellious, angry, thieving, deceitful Absalom. We talked of his death- and the righteous penalty of it- Deserved it.
  • This is a guy who was Willing to kill his own father so that he could rule his own kingdom and not be under the rule of his father- to kill the king to be the king- No matter what the cost.
  • Sound familiar? Absalom is the villain of this story, David is the hero- and the Hero wants to die for the villain- He is willing to take the place of the Villian (Absalom) when he is the hero (david)
  • This is the story of our faith. We are the villain. We are all Absalom. We wanted our own way, we wanted to rule ourselves. We didn’t want a king to rule us, so we took whatever steps we needed to take to ensure our kingdom reigned and we killed the king so we could rule.
  • And the cry of Jesus came to us and saved us but instead of ‘If I had only died instead of you”
  • Jesus actually came and died for us. We deserved Death, and the Hero came and died in the place of the villain. The greatest sacrifice ever for anyone.
  • Theologians call this Penal Substitutionary Atonement- Penalty, In place of, Payment. Penalty of of sin (death), by someone (Jeusus)  instead of the offender (us) , to pay for our sin
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
  • This is the bedrock truth of the entire Christian experience- To reject it is to reject Christ
  • You must understand and internalize this doctrine. It will change your life
  • If you find that you lack purpose, joy, direction, peace, identity, passion, love, etc. It may be because you have not adequately reflected on this truth
  • Romans 5: 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • This is the Gospel. This is salvation. We were sinners- who needed a savior- and Jesus Came
  • Picture this- Officer that Killed George Floyd- Guilty- but you go and take his place so he can walk free. Seems scandalous! He deserves to die! Revenge! I know its visceral but its true
  • All the benefits, emotional, spiritual, tangible etc. Flow from this truth. The Penal Sub. Atone.
  • But why does it have to be that way? Why does someone have to die? Why does Christianity have to be such a bloody endeavor? No other religion requires this.
  • Last week we talked about every man being made in the image of God- From Genesis
  • Also in Genesis- The first blood sacrifice Adam and Eve sinned- required blood to cover
  • Blood through the Pentateuch. Covering for Passover- blood ex 12, God made covenant with Israel in ex 24, blood. Covenant with Abraham in Gen 15, blood.
  • Leviticus 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’
  • People say, why blood? I think when you see blood and notice death it should affect you

God is Holy- He is not a man. He is not a creation, he is the creation

  • Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
  • Holy means different, distinct, from everything that is common. Only God is different, distinct, from all things. Hence, He is holy; holiness is His nature. He is holy because he is not us.
  • 1 Peter 1:15-16  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
  • Its like with kids- I will never be like them because I am not them- I am their parent.

God has Wrath- But his wrath is not jilted lover wrath, it is a loving response to sin

  • Psalm 7:11 God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.
  • God’s wrath is is answer to sin- its his personal response to it. Its not a cause/effect relationship. Different than human anger- It is holy (he is holy) righteous (he makes the rules) It is beautiful in the sense that it is against the egregiousness of sin that needs punishment
  • Remember the movies where you want the bad guy to get his just wages? His punishment?
  • That’s the nature of wrath- it must come upon the wrongdoer-
  • If you do not see sin as deserving punishment- you don’t understand the Gospel
  • Romans 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, whosuppress the truth in unrighteousness,
  • This is why you cannot understand, appreciate, or gain the Gospel without understanding wrath
  • To the unsaved mind or lukewarm heart it seems evil- like our God is some pagan deity that must be appeased or be angry- but that is not the case- God is not angry he is love- His wrath is understood as anger only as a response to sin which MUST be dealt with-
  • Romans 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
  • God’s judgment is righteous! Sin MUST Be dealt with- it MUST be paid for-ATONED FOR>
  • Nahum 1:6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.

There is sin!

  • Rom 3:23 All of sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God- We all missed the mark!
  • Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
  • Ecclesiastes 7:20  For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.
  • And because we have all sinned- and we are all bad- we all must be saved
  • And We cant save ourselves! We are the villain of our story- unable to change on our own
  • Isa 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like [a]filthy rags;
  • When we try to fix our relationship, forgive our own sin, earn God’s favor we FAIL we cant!
  • There must be Payment atonement- the wrath must be satisfied!
  • God has laws of right and wrong- Of the action and the heart and NONE of us can keep them
  • Rom 3: 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all [f]and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
  • As David cried out about his wayward son Absalom- Jesus cried out for us and said LET IT BE ME
  • 1 Jn 2:2  He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
  • When Leviticus 16 talks about atonement, and payment for sin- Its an everlasting statute!
  • READ Heb 9:11-15  12 but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
  • Jesus blood on the cross was the payment for our sin- the propitiation.
  • WE deserved DEATH- Like Absalom- WE deserved to be on the Cross for OUR blood to pay for OUR sin- But Jesus stepped in and TOOK our Place- the Substitutionary- the substitute
  • He was holy- without blemish- we are not- there is no way we could have atoned for ourselves.

Now we have salvation!

  • John 3:36  He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
  • Our belief in his substitution is the foundation of our faith- If we reject it- God’s wrath is on us
  • If you are not a Christian- right now- God’s fierce fiery wrath is upon you. You are dead in sin
  • Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
  • Galatians 3:13  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
  • Christ is our advocate before the father for us! Rom 3: 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
  • 1 Peter 3:18  Mark 10:45  2 Cor  5:14 

What it should produce in us

  • Brokenness over our sin- reality of our sin as an offense towards God- a stench in his nostrils
  • Never understand people who laugh and gloat about their sin- its grevious! Its disgusting! HATE SIN
  • Love for God/Thankfulness- thankful that he sent Jesus for us to die for our sins- that he took our place
  • People who lack love for God typically have lack of remorse over their sin
  • Love for Others- When you see how wicked you are, and how much God forgave you, you have forgiveness for others. You don’t want revenge and retribution for them- because you understand that YOU have escaped God’s wrath through Jesus- YOU deserved death-
  • Obedience- We preach obedience here and people say its legalism- The definition of legalism is believing that righteous acts save you- We’ve made that clear it doesn’t. Obedience is a response to forgiveness. You desire to be obedient because you’re thankful, not because you’re fearful.
  • Focus- There is no message more important than this message- Jesus Christ and him crucified
  • Fruit  Spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • Produces brokenness over sin, new life, obedience, love, thankfulness,
  • This is why when you have no brokenness over sin, no love for God, no thankfulness, no love for others, and no obedience I question if you’re saved
  • And if YOU don’t have any of that, you should question your salvation as well!- REPENT AND BELIEVE
  • Have you been forgiven? If not- today is your day- Have you forgot? COME BACK

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