3 February 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:4-8; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Today is the date on the church calendar called the Presentation of Christ. To those who know and believe, He needs no introduction for He is your Sovereign, Redeemer, Savior, and Lord. But this day, falling during Epiphany, is the whole meaning of Epiphany. He is a gift of the Father. He came to set the captives free and to proclaim Liberty throughout the land – specifically to those who have believed the promise made to Abraham of every race, kindred and tongue.
The Law defines as the transgression of the Law. The Law of God has not been annulled by the sacrifice of our Lord, but rather its terms have been fulfilled and satisfied. It is now measured by faith and love – not a rigid obedience carved on stone Tablets. We are saved by grace and not of works.
Absalom was a proud and evil son of David. He attempted to usurp the throne of his father, David, and warred against him. “As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.” Like the pomp and Circumstance of modern rulers, his coming and going was sounded by sirens and trumpets. But Absalom had an abysmal end. Absalom had a full head of hair that was also a source of his pride. During his battles with David’s army, Absalom rode under a tree on which his hair was caught and Absalom hung helplessly thereon.
As he hung helplessly on the tree, Joab, commander of David’s army, “took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.” (2 Sam 15:14) When David heard the news of the death of his treasonous son, he wept bitterly. His mourning at the death of Absalom contrasted sharply with that of David’s firstborn of Bathsheba who died in innocence as an infant owing to David’s adulterous affair. Instead of mourning, David feasted. He declared: “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22) But David knew that he would never behold the face of Absalom ever again for he died in his sins.
Absalom died under the curse of the Law and hung from the tree. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 3:13-14;see also Deuteronomy 21:22-23) The Law is a curse to those who do not believe. In fact, the last word in the Old Testament Book of the Law and Prophets is ‘CURSE’ (Malachi 4:6) The Law being a curse to us and demanding our wages of death, it was ordained that those of faith must have a redeemer/substitute to pay the penalty thereof. Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Father, died on the cross that we might become sons and daughters of God as well by process of adoption. Being adopted, our blood is washed clean of the sin-diseased blood of our father, Adam, and we are embraced by God and welcomed into His family and kingdom. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.” Acts 5:30
Our Lord suffered the curse of the Law that we might be redeemed from the bondage of sin as delineated by the Law of God. Jesus conquered sin and death by His travail upon that tree. Epiphany is the proclamation of Christ as Savior to all who follow His Light, His Sar, and His Word. “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” (Galatians 3:7-12) Welcome to all who have been redeemed from death by the Voice of the Savior! Our Savior, like Absalom, was pierced on the tree – not for His own sin as was Absalom, but for ours!