The Gory Cost of Atonement

2 Samuel 21v1-14

In shocking Biblical passages God wants us to learn important lessons.

Notice from the passage before us:

  1. The Mercy of God’s Revelation
    God revealed the truth regarding the Gibeonites and what gave rise to the prolonged drought in Israel. It was because Saul had broken Joshua’s covenant with the Gibeonites.

  2. The Gore of Atonement
    The land could only be cleansed through the shedding of blood.
    This was not an individual judicial case in which the children were not to be punished for the sins of their fathers – it was a national sin committed by Saul their King. The wrath of God needed to be appeased to end the drought. After the seven sons of Saul were sacrificed, it was appeased and the land was restored.

  3. The Love of a Mother
    Rizpah was a concubine of Saul, and two of her sons were executed. She did not leave their bodies until the rain started to fall. God is holy and must punish sin. His justice and character demand it.

  4. The Protection of Covenants
    King David spared Mephibosheth in order to keep his covenant with his father Jonathan.
    Fast forward 1000 years to Golgotha, where the Lord Jesus Christ suffered on the cross, appeasing the wrath of God. This is atonement – it is gory. Do you understand what Christ did? He fulfilled the eternal covenant with His Father (John 6:39). It is because of this Covenant that believers are set free.

In Gethsemane Jesus knew what was awaiting Him – the gore and cost of atonement.
Do you understand it? Even Isaiah cried out in the temple ‘Woe is me’ – his lips had to be cleansed with a coal from the altar.
What is behind Christ’s atonement? It is the love of God (1 John 4:10).

How do you respond to this? Have you seen your unworthiness and did you come to Christ? Do you see your need of Christ – that you need to be clothed with His righteousness? If you are truly a Christian, you cannot but respond to Christ’s atonement with worship and devotion.