King David spoke to us on Easter.
He shared that, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” is the first line of a song (Psalm 22), and that he wrote it.
David was a King and a Shepherd.
He shared that they are similar professions, for both sheep and people are loveable but stupid.
People conjecture as to where King David was when he felt forsaken and wrote Psalm 22. He shared that maybe he was counting foreskins—long story, but that’s the “Bride Price.” It’s a heart exposed to God.
Maybe he was hiding from King Saul. Maybe he was hiding from God. He shared that he hid his heart from God after he seduced Bathsheba, impregnated her, and married her husband.
The prophet exposed his heart with a word that cut like a knife. Then said, “Your sin is forgiven, but the son of David will die, and what you have done in secret will be done to you in the light of the sun.” David felt forsaken.
Maybe he was hiding from God, or himself—his own flesh and blood. His son Absalom raped his wives on the roof of the palace, under the sun, and tried to overthrow his father’s kingdom.
David said, “Maybe I was hiding from Saul, hiding from God, and hiding from myself. Maybe I was hiding in Hell.”
Many of his songs refer to time “in hell.”
How do you sing about Heaven when you feel like hell?
He asked if we believed in Hell.
He said we may believe that there is a Hell, but nobody believes “in hell,” because hell is “not believing.”
It turns out that we use the one word, “Hell,” to describe at least three different biblical realities—what he called Hell #1, Hell #2, and Hell #3.
Hell #1 is the experience of God’s absence.
It’s darkness, death, lies, chaos, and isolation.
It’s the Hebrew word, “Sheol,” and the Greek word, “Hades.”
In Sheol, no one sings, and all feel forsaken.
Hell #2 is not the experience of God’s absence, but the manifestation of his Presence… and God is “a Consuming Fire.”
It’s Light, Life, Truth, Logos and Love.
Another word for Hell #2 is “Heaven,” or the substance of Heaven.
In Heaven, everyone sings, and no one feels forsaken.
Hell #3 is the boundary between Hell #2 and Hell #1.
Hell #3 is the valley of Hinnom, that is, “Gehenna.”
Hell #3 is the edge of “the New Jerusalem coming down.”
A better word might be “Judgment.”
At the edge of Jerusalem, and the end of the ages, Jesus the Son of David hung on a tree in a Garden and cried, or sang, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
David claims that Jesus sang the psalm all the way to the end and that he sang it as he descended into Sheol. He argued that the Son of David sang Hallelujah in hell and broke down the gates of hell from the inside out.
On the cross God cut away that which keeps us, the Bride, from communion with Him. It was the bride price.
On the cross, the son of David died, and from the cross, the son of David was born, just as Solomon was born of David and Bathsheba.
On the cross, God the Father gave us his heart, just as through the death of Absalom God gave David his heart. And so, David cried, “If only I had died instead of you, my son Absalom.”
Our Father not only said it, he did it. He died for us and gave us his Life.
According to David, God in Christ Jesus descended into David’s darkness and sung him into the man that he was created to be.
According to David and Psalm 22, in Christ, God descended into every hell in which the children of Adam find themselves, and there he causes us to sing the Hallelujah.
Psalm 22:29 “Before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.”
Jesus didn’t die and rise from the dead because you made a good decision.
You can only make a good decision because Jesus died and rose from the dead in the sanctuary of your soul.
A sheep isn’t saved by its own judgment.
It’s the Good Shepherd’s judgment that saves the sheep.
David was perplexed that some sheep think that there are other sheep too lost for the Great Shepherd to ever find.
“Stupid, stupid sheep,” he said. “Don’t you know that if you don’t ‘let everything that has breath praise the Lord,’ you are not praising the Lord, who came to seek and to save the lost… sheep.”
“As long as you don’t forgive, you cannot know forgiveness.”
“As long as you don’t forgive, you are stuck in outer darkness. It cannot last forever without end, but why would you want it to last at all?”
At the end of time, hell is cast into heaven and death is no more.
At the cross, heaven descended into hell and the King of Heaven wouldn’t stop singing.
David shared that he didn’t really write the psalm, but that, with the psalm, God wrote him.
When did he feel forsaken? He felt forsaken every time his judgment was not in harmony with the judgment of God.
When did God write the song? At the foundation of the earth… and every time Jesus met David in hell, singing his sorrow into joy, his sin into Grace, and his forsakenness into Faith.
He was a baffled king composing Hallelujah, because the Hallelujah was composing him.
To hang on to your sorrow is hell.
To sing it in communion with Jesus, is the resurrection and the Life.
Sing, and let everyone sing, “Hallelujah.” That’s Heaven.
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To better understand this message, watch the “Hallelujah in Hell” video.