Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What becomes of sin?

The Word for today:
1 Chronicles 18-20
This fateful line appears in 2 Samuel 11:1, serving as a preface to the tragic story of David's dalliance with Bathsheba:
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
So when that same line resurfaces today (1 Chronicles 20:1) the careful reader braces for a retelling of David's sinful episode, which began when the restless king, from the roof of his palace, happened to observe a beautiful woman as she was bathing. The adultery which ensued gave rise to deception, murder, treason, incest, suicide, and civil war.
But Bathsheba never enters the picture in 1 Chronicles. Where is she? How did the most notorious sin since Eden disappear from scripture?
The answer, of course, is that it didn't disappear from the Word of God at all. Keep turning the pages and you'll see David and Bathsheba's sin again. You'll see it right here:
He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. (Colossians 2:14)
Because of the figurative language in that verse, we picture a list of sins nailed to the cross, as if salvation were a paper transaction. But the whole truth is that the record of our sins was canceled when Jesus became our sin, and he was nailed to the cross:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
What became of David's sin was Jesus. The sins directly engendered by David's adultery, along with a legion of proliferating consequences, would make it all the way to Jesus:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us... (Galatians 3:13)
There is no cover-up in the Bible. There is no whitewash of David's sins -- or ours. Sin doesn't dematerialize into ethereal oblivion or escape into the philosophical domain. Sin's effects are visited upon the children (Exodus 34:7), multiplying and permutating over generations until--unless--they are visited upon the son of God.
Any sin that (due to its bearer's unbelief) is not put to death at the cross will continue, unabated, all the way to hell--there to perpetually "visit" the devil's children as ever more virulent permutations.

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