Luke Miller, First Year Seminary Student at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, MN writes about something quite amazing that he saw when reading Joshua 10. This chapter is famously known for the sun standing still while the battle rages on. In what happens to the 5 Amorite kings Luke sees some similarities and differences that point to Jesus Christ.
What is it about this story that I find to be so remarkable? It prompts me to consider the curse-bearing King of kings. The juxtaposition between these Amorite kings and King Jesus .
King Jesus is different from the Amorites. He never opposes Yahweh. In fact, he is the only one in history to completely submit to God. Everyone else is a rebel. Jew and Gentile alike are under God’s curse because they transgress his law.
Yet at the end of Jesus’ life, he was treated just like these Amorite kings. They executed him. They hung him on a tree. They threw him into a cave tomb, and they rolled a stone over the entrance to seal the deal.
However, unlike the Amorites, Jesus’ story doesn’t end in the grave. God would not let his holy One see corruption. He raised Jesus from the dead, vindicating Jesus’ righteousness and demonstrating to the world that Jesus is truly the Son of God.
So, why did Jesus suffer like an Amorite king? Why did the righteous one suffer as if he were unrighteous? Paul lays it out clearly for us in Galatians 3:13-14: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
Jesus’ death was substitutionary. We were under God’s curse. We deserved his wrath just as much as any Amorite, but King Jesus took our curse upon himself, liberating us from the wrath to come and blessing us with his Spirit. This Easter season, I pray that this beautiful exchange at the heart of the gospel will grip your heart afresh.