By Schulter Etyang
David has this dilemma. His middle son has just murdered his eldest son. Absalom murdered Amnon because he raped his sister Tamar. David is then told about what happened but does nothing. His only response? Very angry! So, Absalom takes it upon himself to avenge the wrong that was done to his sister. Which he does.
The penalty of what Absalom did is death. This David knows very well. He knows the Ten Commandments very well. In a previous episode of his life, he did the same thing. He murdered his best friend and took his wife.
Now David is faced with this dilemma. How do I condemn what Absalom did without condemning him? How do I punish his sin without punishing my son? How do I judge his sin without judging him? It seems plausible enough that his son Absalom knew what he had done to Uriah and was now playing the same card. “Dad, let’s see what you are going to do to me. If you judge or punish me, then your God is so unfair because he didn’t do the same to you.”
If David allows Absalom to come back without any repercussions, he could violate the law. That is why he is so troubled and angry. His hands are somewhat tied. He is in a catch 22 situation.
Imagine your own kid tells you that they drowned their kid sis or bro in the backyard pool just because they were being naughty? What would you do?
This is the question that haunts God for cosmic years. How does he judge our sin without judging us? How does he punish sin without punishing us? How does he destroy sin without destroying us? He created us, yes. He loves us, yes. But there is a gulf between him and us. Sin is this gulf. In terms of God’s standards, a penalty is warranted if someone breaks his laws and that penalty is death. Romans 6:23
Paul also makes the same claim
How can we who were living apart from Christ, excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, did not know the covenant promises God had made to them and lived in this world without God and without hope be brought near? Ephesians 2:12
A witty wise woman approaches David and makes this starling claim
2 Samuel 14:14
For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.
The means? God decides that his only son will be the means that will bear the penalty. His only son would bear the penalty. Jesus steps into our world with the plan to die our death so that God would never expel us from Him. Jesus is the means that God devised to solve the problem of punishing our sin without punishing us — judging our sin without judging us
Jesus is the means that God devised to solve the problem of punishing our sin without punishing us — judging our sin without judging us.
I wish David were living in our day and time. He would have enjoyed the privilege of seeing his son acquitted from God’s penalty because Jesus took his place on the cross. Jesus solved David’s dilemma by taking the penalty of our sin and we take the benefit of his innocence and in cosmic ways solved God’s dilemma. We are declared innocent even though we are guilty of the sins we committed because Jesus was declared guilty even though he didn’t commit any sins.
Every other religion in the world says that you must pay for your sins and that it is your good works that get you to heaven. Christianity says, we go to heaven because our sins were put onto Jesus’ account and then his innocence was put onto our account. This is what makes Christianity different from other faiths. This is the sole claim of Christianity that no other faith subscribes to.
We are declared innocent even though we are guilty of the sins we committed because Jesus was declared guilty even though he didn’t commit any sin.
No matter the sin you have committed, what Jesus did was enough to warrant God’s grace for you. God does not punish you because Jesus took the punishment for that sin on the cross for you. You can now walk away scot-free. Wow…
That’s what grace looks like