Christ Became A Curse For A Cursed People

10 Jun

Crucifixion

A Curse

“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.'”

The only way someone could be under a curse is if he or she failed to uphold God’s perfect law.  So in Galatians 3:10, when Paul says that all who rely on works of the law are under a curse, he is subtly saying: Everyone has failed to perfectly uphold God’s perfect law.  And while it may be a subtle point in this passage, it is a blatantly obvious one:  We are all lawbreakers.  We are lawbreakers because we are woefully depraved.  What I mean is that at the core of human nature is a will bent on rebelling against God and His ways, following instead his or her own ways and fulfilling his or her own desires.  And even if we should try to fulfill the commands of God, we fail to do so.  As the Baptist Catechism explains:

     No mere man since the fall is able to keep the commandments of God perfectly, but daily break them in thought, word, and deed.

And while the Judaizers may be gone, we live in a society that upholds the very same teaching.  It doesn’t look the same, but the premise is the same: I am found acceptable by God by my works.  My self-effort.  We see it in the way most people respond to the question: How does someone get into heaven.  It’s not through Jesus.  It’s by being a good person.  We see it in movements that say “it doesn’t matter what you believe, you just need to love other people.”  The emphasis is upon doing.  And by doing, God will be satisfied.   

 No matter what it is, we must know this: We cannot make ourselves acceptable to God.  All who rely on the Law—even self-made standards of what it takes be accepted by God—are under a curse.  And the curse is the just and righteous condemnation of God.

The Good News 

But there is good news.  For Paul makes it clear that while we, who have all failed to keep the law, are cursed, there is one who has redeemed—or bought us back—from that curse.  Verse 13: “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.”   

Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came to earth, dwelt among the Israelites, and kept the Law perfectly.  Though everyone else failed to keep the Law, including you and I, Jesus Christ succeeded.  He alone is worthy of all the blessings of God.  And yet, He suffered the curse of being hanged on a tree.  He was nailed to a cross, and though he suffered physically, also took upon Himself the curse of God’s wrath.  And he did it in order to redeem a cursed people.   

We are that cursed people.  Jesus Christ took the curse that rightly belonged to us upon Himself, so that, as verse 14 says, “in Him [Christ Jesus] the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles,” and “we might receive the promised Spirit.”  He became the curse for a cursed people, so that they might receive the blessings that only He deserved.  One hymn writer put it like this: 

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath-
We stand forgiven at the cross.
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God-slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross. 

These verses lay out our options: We can either acknowledge and repent of our sin, and trust wholly in Jesus Christ to justify us, or we can try to justify ourselves.  We can either continue in our futile efforts to keep the law, or some sort of moral code so that God will accept us, or we can place our faith in Christ, who did keep the law, who died a cursed death in our place, and who rose again from the dead to prove that the curse had been taken away.  One way leads to curse and condemnation, and the other leads to righteousness and life.  

Praise God that in Christ, He has made a way for us, to take away our curse, and to bless us, so that we might serve Him (to the glory of His name) and others (blessed to be a blessing, Gen. 12:3).  

Advertisements

Have Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ISU Kingdom Vision Cooperative

A Kingdom-minded association of campus ministries

Areopagus Campus Ministry

For Christ And His Kingdom In University Life

Blog - Redeemer City to City

To Glorify God In All Facets Of Life

HeadHeartHand Blog

To Glorify God In All Facets Of Life

Housewife Theologian

The Gospel Interrupting the Ordinary

To Glorify God In All Facets Of Life

Common Ground

of Central Illinois

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

Reforming Pastor

To Glorify God In All Facets Of Life

Everyday Races

There is beauty in the mundane.

%d bloggers like this: