David in exile – Death and Resurrection foreshadowed

On Easter Sunday, we saw how Jesus met with the two travellers on the Road to Emmaus. Luke tells us that [1]

“Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

This is the starting point for saying that we can and should preach Christ from all Scripture. So, when I’m looking at an Old Testament passage, I’m thinking “How could I preach Christ and the Gospel from here?” Or … “if Jesus had picked up on this bit on the Emmaus Road, what would he have said about it?”

When we are looking at 2 Samuel 14 -24, we are seeing that in one sense, David is the “typical believer” we learn about how to trust God and how to live with persecution but also how to respond to God’s just discipline.

However, we must not lose sight of something even more wonderful. David is a “type of Christ” whilst he was being justly disciplined, his experience also points us towards Jesus who faced those things unjustly but on our behalf as our substitute.

In 2 Samuel 15-17, we see David in exile. There are some close detailed pre-echoes of Christ here. He crosses the Kidron, he climbs the Mount of Olives and on route he experiences mocking and insult. This exile is a form of death. God’s true King must experience betrayal, desertion, exile (outside the City) and death.

The story does not finish there does it? David does not remain in exile and Jesus does not remain in the tomb. In 2 Samuel 18-19, we see David defeat Absalom, the usurper. We see him return as King to Jerusalem.

In a greater way, Jesus conquers death and deals with sin. David’s exile and return is like a mini-death and resurrection, Jesus is the one who has died and risen. David returns to Jerusalem, in Revelation Jesus returns with the new Jerusalem.

What does this mean for us?

–          First of all, typology helps us to see the Gospel afresh and take deeper joy in it. Our first response to the David and Absalom story is to thank God for Jesus. Our response if we don’t know Christ should be to turn to him.

–          Secondly, the typology helps us with the Christian life. You see, it introduces us to something greater than an example. Yes, David as the typical believer provides us with a positive example to follow, as well as a negative one to avoid. Even Christ’s suffering in presented as an example to us in 1 Peter. However, Jesus offers much more than an example to follow imperfectly.  Jesus’ death was on our behalf. We have died with him and so we are raised with him (see Romans 6).  This is a reminder again as to why I can face trials and tribulations now. I can face them because these things are not my punishment. I can face them because I know that my sin, guilt and shame are dealt with. This means I don’t need to struggle no alone or hide in shame. It means I can allow others to share my burden and most of all I can rely on Christ to work in and through my suffering. Through it he produces perseverance and hope.

[1] Luke 24:27