Sermon Transcript – Cursed is Everyone Who is Hanged on a Tree

Series A – First Sunday in Advent – Sunday, November 27, 2022 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:22The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Matthew the 21st chapter
0:36foreign now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethpage the Mount of Olives
0:42then Jesus sent two disciples saying to them go into the village in front of you and immediately you’ll find a donkey
0:48tight and a cult with her untie them and bring them to me if anyone says anything
0:54to you you shall say the Lord needs them and he will send them at once this took
0:59place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet saying say to the daughter of Zion behold your king is coming to you
1:05humble and mounted on a donkey and on a cult the full of a beast of burden the
1:10disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them they brought the donkey and the cult and put on them their
1:16cloaks and sat on them most of the crowds spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees
1:22and spread them on the road and the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting Hosanna to
1:28the son of David blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord hosanna in the highest and when he had entered
1:34Jerusalem the whole city was stirred up saying who is this and the crowd said this is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth
1:40of Galilee this is the the gospel of the Lord in the name of Jesus
1:46behold your king is coming to you humble humble that’s our big word today humble
1:51mounted on a donkey on a cult the full of a beast of burden if you are paying attention to two different readings here
1:59our Old Testament reading and Our Gospel text you’ll note that our Old Testament text is specifically talking about
2:06Christ’s second Advent and so you’ll note that as we begin the new church
2:11here there’s a little bit of overlap if you would there’s some eschatological residue things pointing to the second
2:18coming of Christ that in the latter days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of
2:25the mountains we learn from the Prophet Daniel and the vision that God or the dream that God had given to
2:30Nebuchadnezzar that that mountain of the Lord is going to come out of nowhere and
2:35smash the kingdoms of the earth and then fill the whole earth that’s the second Advent of Christ but in the first Advent
2:42of Christ you’ll note that Jesus doesn’t come to smash the kingdoms of the earth
2:47he himself comes to be smashed to be beaten down to be trodden to be well
2:56pierced for our transgressions and when we consider the humility of Christ his
3:01humbleness and Christ still comes to us humble today he comes to us humble
3:06through the preached word he comes to us humbled in the sacrament of the altar
3:12Christ still continues humbling himself but I thought it would be kind of interesting a study of scriptures if you
3:19would to compare two very different sons of David because Christ’s humility
3:25really shines when it is well juxtaposed with the arrogance and the ambition of
3:32the other son of David Absalom if you guys remember in the Old Testament there was a son of David by the name of
3:38Absalom who basically planned a four-year-long coup de ta where he was
3:44going to steal the hearts of the people of Israel and that he was going to make himself the king and then do his father
3:51in I mean what kind of person is that you’ll note that that particular son of
3:58David is well not a great one in fact he’s the exact opposite of Jesus Jesus
4:03is humble Absalom not so much but it’s in the details of that particular
4:08conspiracy and then what ended up happening to Absalom that we begin to see a little bit of an overlap between
4:14the two sons of David Jesus the son of David an Absalom the son of David if you
4:20would like to follow along we’ll do a little bit of survey work in the book of second a second Kings hang on a second
4:26hit second Samuel my apologies second Samuel chapter 15 and we’re going to look at absalom’s conspiracy
4:33here’s what it says in second Samuel chapter 15. after this Absalom he got
4:39himself a chariot and horses 50 men to run before him and Absalom used to rise
4:46early and stand before the way of the gate and when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment
4:53Absalom would call to him and say from what city are you and when he said well
4:58your servant is of such and such of a tribe of Israel Absalom would say to him well see that you’re clean I see that
5:05your claims are good and right but alas there is no man designated by the king to hear you and here’s what Absalom is
5:12up to this is slander of the highest degree he’s maliciously accusing his
5:18father of not doing his duties as king if you remember here in the United
5:23States we have three branches of government we have the executive we have the legislative and we have the judicial
5:29but in monarchies of the ancient world all three Brown branches resided in the
5:35one Monarch in the king and so not only did the king have to write laws the king also had to execute those laws but the
5:41king also had to judge those laws and hear cases or at least designate somebody for the purpose of doing that
5:48and King David of course was following through on his duties but what Absalom
5:53was doing was basically meeting people as they were coming into town and then slandersly accusing his dad without
6:00saying it oh my dad is a terrible King he’s not doing all the things he’s
6:06supposed to be doing he should have set somebody up to hear cases but he’s well he’s too busy doing other things but if
6:14I Were King alas if I were the King of the Forest right
6:19um right If I Were King I would be doing things differently and what he does here
6:25then is he sends folks away who have come into Jerusalem for the purpose of
6:30seeking a judgment for them to receive Justice in their complaints against their neighbors and they leave without
6:38any justice at all and that’s the kind of thing that festers and grows and
6:46people begin to gossip and to slander and their hearts are turned away from
6:51David towards the one who would do something if only if only he were King
6:57it’s a beautiful conspiracy if you think about it utterly satanic and this is the
7:03opposite of being humble this particular son of David is ambitious he is exalting
7:10himself and by the way what kind of narcissist has 50 men run before him
7:16right who does that I need 50 men what’s your job you’re to run before me so that
7:21everybody in the streets knows that I’m approaching right could you imagine if I hired 50 men to you know to well applaud
7:29me as I entered into Kong’s finger way to go oh pastor’s here you guys would get rid of me faster than you get rid of
7:35a flu right what what a terrible narcissistic anti-humble person this is
7:41so Absalom will say oh if I were judge in the land then every man had a dispute and that caused and come before me and I
7:48would give him Justice so whenever a man came near to pay homage to him Absalom would put out his
7:54hand and take hold of him and kiss him thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment and
8:00Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel and at the end of four years Absalom does this for four years at the
8:08end of four years Absalom said to the king please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to Yahweh in Hebron
8:15for your servant vowed a vow while I lived at gesher in Aram saying if Yahweh
8:21will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem then I will worship then I will offer worship to Yahweh and so he’s now going
8:28to mask his coup d’etat his murderous attempt to depose his father in piety I
8:36mean wow talk about having no conscience I’m going to worship Yahweh no you’re
8:43not you’re going to worship yourself dude right so Absalom sent secret Messengers throughout all the tribes of
8:51Israel saying as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet then you set or to say Absalom is King and Hebron and with
8:58Absalom went 200 men from Jerusalem who were the invited guests and they went in
9:03their innocence they knew nothing and while Absalom was offering the sacrifices he sent for a hipithil the
9:09gileonite David’s counselor and from his City gilo and the conspiracy grew strong
9:15and the people with Absalom kept increasing a messenger came to David
9:20saying the hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom then David said to his servants who were with him in
9:26Jerusalem arise let us flee or else there will be no Escape for us from Absalom and immediately upon hearing
9:34what this conspiracy was all about Absalom now exalting himself as king and that there’s a vast number of people
9:40who’ve gone after Absalom they David realizes at this point Jerusalem is not
9:47a defensible place for him to remain if he stays in Jerusalem the armies of
9:52Absalom all they need to do is arrive and set up a Siege and then it’s just a
9:57matter of time and so David has to leave in what’s really fascinating to me over
10:04and again as I read this text is that the route that Jesus that David takes
10:10out of Jerusalem the route that he takes is the exact route that Jesus Takes into
10:16Jerusalem it’s very fascinating we know from the details here that David is going to
10:22leave he’s going to exit out the Golden Gate of Jerusalem which is well on the
10:28eastern wall there he’s going to descend down the Kidron Valley and he’s going to
10:33ascend up the slope of the Mount of Olives that is the exact route that Jesus Took
10:40coming in on our gospel text he came down the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley and entered in Jerusalem
10:47through the Golden Gate that I think is significant I think it’s so huge it just
10:52is teeming with Messianic overtones but here we hear about David’s leaving
10:58his departure so he said go quickly lest ye overtake us at quickly and bring down
11:04ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword so the king’s servant said to the king behold your servants
11:10are ready to do whatever my Lord the king decides so the king went out and all of his household after him and the
11:16King left ten concubines to keep the house and the King went out and all the people after him and they halted at the
11:21last house and all of his servants passed by him and all the caruthites and all the pelethites and all the 600
11:28guitars who had followed him from gath passed on before the king then the king said to itai the gitite why do you also
11:36go with us go back and stay with the King for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home you came only
11:41yesterday and shall I today make you wander about with us since I go I don’t know where go back and take your
11:47brothers with you and may Yahweh show steadfast love and faithfulness to you but itai answered the king as Yahweh
11:54lives and as my Lord the king lives wherever my my Lord the king shall be whether for Death Or For Life there also
12:00will your servant be and David said to attack go then pass on so itai the
12:05guitar passed on with all of his men and all the little ones who were with him and the land wept aloud as all the
12:14people passed by the king crossed the brook Kidron and all the people passed
12:20on toward the Wilderness and then I pick it up again in chapter in verse 30.
12:25David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives weeping as he went Barefoot with
12:32his head covered you’ll note that David’s departure from Jerusalem is well
12:38not something of rejoicing but instead is something of lament it’s a time of
12:44mourning of weeping and David’s head is covered he’s penitent and you’ll note that David is here is receiving one of
12:53the consequences of his sin that he committed when he went into Bathsheba
12:58impregnated her and then murdered her husband Nathan the prophet although David received an Absolution from Nathan
13:06the prophet God made it very clear that one of David’s own neighbors one of his
13:11own Sons would try to kill him and that was prophecy given by Nathan and now God is fulfilling this this is all a
13:18consequence of David’s sin so all the people who were with him they covered their heads they went up weeping as they
13:24went and it was told David a hippothel is among the conspirators with Absalom and David said oh Yahweh please turn the
13:31Council of a hippothel into foolishness I’ll fast forward a little bit but you
13:37know suffice it to say that Absalom did enter Jerusalem he then
13:43set himself up as king and this was all to seize a kingdom which didn’t
13:49rightfully belong to him it was something you’ll note that the Kingdom of Israel is something that is given by
13:56God God is the one who establishes Kings God is the one who calls them and puts
14:01them into place and God had not called Absalom to be the king of Israel nope and far from it but you’ll note despite
14:09all of his sin and all of his ambition which is what we all are like by the way by Nature because we are all alike like
14:15the devil in our ambition and our desires to fulfill our own gratifications uh Absalom is a lot like
14:22that he is nothing like Jesus the son of David so the text then continues that
14:29after some time they came up with a plan then to go to
14:35war with the forces of Absalom David had an army Absalom had an army and they met
14:41in the North Country up in Ephraim and it says in chapter 18 that David mustered The Men Who were with him said
14:48over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds this is Civil War now and David sent out the Army
14:54one-third under the command of joab one-third under the command of abishai the son of Zariah joab’s brother and
15:01one-third under the command of itai the gitite and the King said to the men I myself also will go out with you but the
15:07men said You shall not go out for if we flee they will not care about us if half
15:12of us die they will not care about us but you are worth ten thousand of us therefore it is better that you send us
15:19help from the city so the king said to them whatever seems best to you I will do so the king stood
15:25at the side of the gate and while all the Army marched out by hundreds and by thousands the king ordered joab and
15:31abhishai and itai please deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom
15:37it’s very interesting this will actually come back to bite David in the behind
15:42his kindness his desire to show Mercy to Absalom rather than Absalom be treated
15:49like a treasonous traitor that he is and that he be executed and put to death he
15:55wants he wants his own son to be taken alive and all the people they heard when the
16:00king gave the orders to all the commanders about Absalom so the Army went out into the field against Israel
16:06and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim and the men of Israel were defeated there by the Servants of David
16:13and the loss there was great on that day 20 000 men the battle spread over the face
16:20of all of the country the forest devoured more people that day than the sword and you’ll note here that the
16:27ambition the arrogance The Pride the hubris of Absalom results in 20
16:35000 men perishing on the battlefield for his sin for his arrogance for his pride
16:44and I must ask this question of us all how many people have suffered because of
16:50your sin we can all say that others have
16:56hope thankfully I could say that no one’s died because of mine at least not that I’m aware of but still that doesn’t
17:03make it right in this particular case the arrogance and the pride of Absalom
17:08resulted in the loss of 20 000 men how many women lost their
17:16husbands that day how many children lost their fathers that day
17:23for what one man’s arrogance one man’s hubris one
17:30man’s ambition how did they not see that Absalom was
17:35breaking the eighth commandment and bearing false witness against his father how did they not see that this son of
17:42David was nothing like God he wasn’t a man after God’s Own Heart Absalom was a
17:48man after absalom’s own heart in his own Ambitions and they went along with it
17:54and twenty thousand men paid the ultimate price for absalom’s sin
18:03but then the text says something interesting Absalom was writing on his mule
18:12prophetic note here Absalom on a mule on a beast of burden why isn’t he on a war
18:17horse okay the connections to Christ begin to show up here
18:22he was riding on his mule and the mule went under the thick branches of a Great Oak and his head caught fast in the Oak
18:31and he was suspended Between Heaven and Earth while the mule under him went on
18:39suspended Between Heaven and Earth the son of David suspended Between Heaven
18:45and Earth now let me read a text for you okay
18:50from Galatians chapter 3. it is written now it is evident that no
18:56one is Justified or declared righteous before God by the law for the righteous shall live by faith
19:03but the law is not of Faith rather the one who does them shall live by them
19:08Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us for
19:16it is written cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree
19:21so that in Christ Jesus The Blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so
19:26that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith and here Paul in Galatians 3 is quoting from Deuteronomy
19:3421 verse 23 cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree what can we
19:39definitively say then of Absalom The Arrogant Absalom the prideful Absalom
19:45the usurper he was cursed God himself intervened and cursed him and he hung
19:52Between Heaven and Earth on a tree
19:59hmm so a certain man then saw Absalom and told
20:06joab one of the commanders behold I saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree job said to the man who told him what
20:12you saw him why then did you not strike him there to the ground I would have
20:18been glad to give you ten pieces of silver in a belt but the man said to joab even if I had felt in my hand the
20:24weight of a thousand pieces of silver I would not reach out my hand against the King’s son for in our hearing the King’s
20:31Command in in hearing the king commanded you and abishai in it I for my sake
20:36protect the young man Absalom on the other hand if I had dealt treachiously against his life and there’s nothing hidden from the King then you yourself
20:43would have stood aloof Joe Webb said I will not waste time like this with you and he took three javelins in his hand
20:50and he thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the Oak and the ten young men jobs armor
20:57Bears surrounded Absalom struck him and killed him
21:03thus perished Absalom
21:10cursed is everyone who was hung on a tree and here’s where
21:17things no longer compare it is true that Jesus came into
21:23Jerusalem riding on a cult the full of a donkey on the Beast of a beast of burden and this was to fulfill what was written
21:30in the prophet Zechariah but the prophet Zechariah made it very clear that our King is coming to us humble
21:37mounted on a donkey on a cult the full of a beast of burden one week later
21:45is Christ’s resurrection and less than a week from Jesus’s triumphal entry into
21:51Jerusalem following the exact route of his father David but in Reverse David
21:57left Jerusalem in mourning and in Weeping and he was suffering the consequences of his sin Jesus arrives in
22:05Jerusalem and everybody there is rejoicing they are laying down their cloaks in front of him and the crowds
22:12were shouting Hosanna to the son of David hosanna in the highest blessed is
22:18he who comes in the name of the Lord and people were wondering who is this this is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of
22:24Galilee he truly is the son of David but coming down the ascent of the Mount
22:30of Olives across the Kidron Valley into the Golden Gate into Jerusalem Jesus was
22:36not coming to establish an Earthly Kingdom instead Jesus was coming to be cursed in
22:43a very similar way that Absalom was cursed because in less than a week on the very
22:50Friday of the week that Jesus had come into Jerusalem Jesus was suspended Between Heaven and Earth bearing your
22:58sins and mine God had laid on him the iniquity of us
23:03all and Jesus did not come to establish his an Earthly Kingdom we know this
23:09because when Jesus is on trial Jesus doesn’t even defend himself or lift up
23:15his voice in any way to make a defense in John chapter 19 we have the account
23:22of Jesus before Pilate the governor of the Roman governor in Judea at the time
23:27pilate took Jesus and he had him flogged the scriptures say but before that we have G we have pilate
23:35asking Jesus uh about who he is and where he’s from and what he what they’ve done in early part of chapter 18 it says
23:43they LED Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters and it was early morning and they themselves they did not enter the
23:49governor’s headquarters so they would not be defiled but could eat the Passover every time I read that text
23:55about how those who put Jesus on trial over during the night you know the the high priest and others they didn’t want
24:01to be defiled yet they were defiled by the very fact that they were murdering their God and they had found an innocent
24:08man guilty of a sin that he did not commit so pilate went outside to them and said what accusation do you bring
24:14against this man they answered him well if this man were not doing evil we would not have delivered him over to you
24:20pilate said to them well take them yourselves and judge him by your own law the Jews said to him it’s not lawful for
24:25us to put anyone to death this was to fulfill the word that Jesus
24:31had spoken to show what kind of death he was going to die in other words we want to murder this
24:36fellow and we need you to be the guy to do it for us so pilate enters headquarters and he
24:42called Jesus and he said to him are you the king of the Jews
24:48is Jesus not the king of the Jews yes he is he truly is the heir to the throne of David
24:54so Jesus answered do you say this of your own accord or did others say it to you about me
25:01pilate answered am I a Jew your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me what have you
25:06done Jesus answered my kingdom is not of this world if my kingdom were of this world
25:12my servants would have been fighting so that I might not be delivered over to the Jews but my kingdom is not from the
25:19world pilate said to him so you are a king Jesus answered you say that I’m a king
25:25and for this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world to Bear witness to the truth
25:31everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice pilate said to him what is truth and
25:39after he had said this he went back outside to the Jews and told them I find no guilt in him but you have a custom
25:44that I should release one man for you at the Passover so do you want me to release to the king of the Jews they cried out again not this man but
25:51Barabbas now Barabbas was a robber pilate then flogged Jesus and the soldiers Twisted together a crown of
25:57thorns and put it on his head and raid him in a purple robe these are the the
26:05items of Jesus’s coronation Jesus hasn’t chosen for himself a crown of gold nor
26:12has he chosen for him anything stately by the world’s standards instead he has chosen to be mocked and that his crown
26:19be a crown of thorns a symbol of the curse that we are all under because remember when Adam and Eve sinned
26:25against God one of the curses that God inflicted on the entire planet was that we were going to have to bring forth our
26:31bread by the sweat of our brows and that the Earth would also produce thorns and
26:37thistles and weeds I know all about this because I I have a garden full of them every year right
26:44so they came up to Jesus saying hail King of the Jews struck them with their hands
26:49pilate went out again and said to them see I am bringing him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in him
26:55so Jesus came out bearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe
27:01and pilate said to them behold the man and when the chief priests and the officer saw him they cried out crucify
27:07him crucify him pilate said to them take him yourselves and crucify him I find no guilt in him the Jews answered him we
27:13have a law and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the son of God
27:19no he hasn’t he is truly the Son of God pilate heard this statement and he was
27:24even more afraid he entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus where are you from Jesus gave him no
27:31answer so pilate said to him you will not speak to me do you not know that I have authority to release you an
27:37authority to crucify you Jesus answered him you would have no authority over me at all unless it had
27:42been given to you from above therefore he who delivered me over to you is has the greater Sin from then on pilate
27:48sought to release Jesus but the Jews cried out if you release this man you are not Caesar’s friend everyone who
27:55makes himself a king opposes Caesar but Jesus hasn’t made himself a king has
28:01he the scripture is very clear in Philippians that Christ humbled himself even though he was by Nature God he did
28:09not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped he humbled himself and came in the form of a servant was born
28:15in human likeness and was obedient even to the point of death even death on a cross you see Jesus comes into Jerusalem
28:22yes he’s the rightful heir of the Throne of David but Jesus also knows very well that one cannot
28:28put themselves forward for this Kingdom as king and he’s not here to do that
28:35instead Jesus dies Jesus lays down his life he comes in his
28:42first Advent humble and a servant to bleed and to die for our sins so that he
28:48by him being cursed by being hung on a tree we might be blessed with the
28:54Forgiveness of our sins blessed with eternal life blessed by being reconciled
29:00to God it’s the exact opposite opposite of Absalom Absalom was cursed for his sins
29:08Christ was cursed for yours painfully clear what is happening here
29:16and so Jesus was nailed to the cross pilate did hand them over
29:21and that’s the reason why he came the brothers and sisters as we begin this new church here
29:27let us never forget that today still is the day of salvation today is not the
29:33day of Christ’s second Advent we are still in the days of his first
29:38when Jesus returns he will return in glory to judge the living and the dead so let us repent of our sin Let Us cast
29:46aside our sin which so easily entangles us let us renounce our sin and well as
29:53Paul says in our epistle text that the day that the night is far spent that
30:00because the because salvation is near to us than when we first believed we should
30:06cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light and live now as
30:12children of the light having been forgiven by Christ and reconciled who became a curse so that we can be blessed
30:19we then it is appropriate for us to walk properly and to cast off all of our sins
30:24of the flesh including drunkenness and sensual sensuality and sexual immorality
30:30and quarreling and jealousing and make no provision for the flesh because
30:35although it is still night and the awning of the sun his coming in glory is
30:42not yet today it is appropriate to live as if it is already the day
30:47that’s what this penitential season is about so truly We Praise You Lord Jesus
30:53that you still come to us humble today in order to Humble us so that we might
30:59be forgiven and reconciled and not be cursed with Absalom but be blessed with the son of David who laid down his life
31:06for us so that we can live in the name of Jesus Amen
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