King of Glory Hangeth on a Tree

Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.” II Samuel 18:9 NIV

            He was the total package, the ultimate bachelor. From the top of his head, to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. In all of Israel, there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance. He cut his hair once a year when it became too heavy for him. Then he would weigh the hair, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard or about five pounds. His name was Absalom, son of King David, and he was ready to claim the throne.

            But unlike his father David, whose pure and clean heart qualified him to be the king by God, Absalom’s inner man was polluted with pride and sin. Absalom’s body had no imperfections, but his mind and character were flawed. His corrupt and tarnished mind led him to deceive and murder his brother, Amnon. Absalom also organized a revolt against his father, King David, to take over the kingdom in treason. Upon David fleeing from Jerusalem, Absalom entered Jerusalem, becoming a king from his schemes, and then he sought to solidify his position. Absalom’s most unforgivable act may be taking over his father’s house and sleeping with his concubines. David was horrified as he saw his own son’s strengths run wild without any control.

            Absalom sinned and he kept on sinning but the consequences of his sin caught up with him. Absalom’s demise occurred when the people of David and the people of Absalom went out to battle each other in the forest of Ephraim. In this battle, Absalom was riding on his mule and the mule went under some thick branches of a great oak tree. Absalom’s thick head of hair got caught up in the oak tree and so he was hanging in the air between heaven and earth, while the mule that he was riding kept going. Not so much after, the commander of David’s army, Joab heard of Absalom’s state. Joab, not wasting time, took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was still alive.  

            Many centuries later another descendent of King David was plunged with a spear and immediately blood and water flowed out of Him. Like Absalom, He also hanged between heaven and earth on a tree. He was a cursed man as it reads in Galatians 3:13, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Although He was cursed, His curse was not His own, for He was a man who knew no sin. He was so far from cursed that He was the only one able and worthy to take upon the curse of mankind. There was no unrighteousness in him. He was spotless, holy, innocent and undefiled. He was Christ, who redeemed us by becoming a curse for us.

            This rugged awful image of the cross represents the beauty and the love that God had for mankind. Although Christ existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God as a thing to be grasped. What a wonder that He emptied Himself of His glory, and took the form of a bond-servant.  Christ laid down His life willingly and He tasted a cruel death for us on the Cross of Calvary. This is so that we can have eternal life and live by faith in glorifying the One, who loves us and gave Himself up for us. Shall we survey this innocent and holy one? Shall we survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died? Let our hearts be enlightened so that we can worship Christ, the One who takes away the sin of the world.

George John resides in Hawthorne, New Jersey with his wife Eirene and four children. He is in active fellowship with the believers in Elmwood Park Bible Chapel, New Jersey and serves as the Sunday School Principal. George is also a pharmacist by trade.

Image titled Joab killing Absalom by Adriaen Thomasz Key