Summary: This passage of Scripture brings together the spiritual principles involved in our salvation from sin-Christ, by being made a curse for us, has redeemed us from the curse of the law. This passage also sets forth our spiritual and moral state before we wer
REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE
OF THE LAW
SCRIPTURE: Galatians 3:13, 14
This passage of Scripture brings together the spiritual principles involved in our salvation from sin-Christ, by being made a curse for us, has redeemed us from the curse of the law. This passage also sets forth our spiritual and moral state before we were redeemed by Christ-we were cursed. And it sets forth our present spiritual state as redeemed people-we are blessed with all the blessings of Abraham and have received the promised Holy Spirit. let us think about these various and related truths one by one.
REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE
The text says we who belong to Christ are redeemed from the curse of the law. The law spoken of here Is specifically the Ten Commandments. The moral requirements of the Ten Commandments represent the universal law of God and were incorporated into the larger legal code we commonly refer to as being the law of Moses. Since the law represents God’s moral demands of man, we should understand that the curse of the law Is the divine condemnation which comes upon mankind for breaking God’s moral law. The Bible declares that every person has broken God’s law: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Because all have sinned, until we are redeemed by Christ, all are under the curse of the law. Every person is condemned by the law, "for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). Since no person can give perfect obedience to God’s law, "by the deeds of the law [by doing the law] there shall no flesh [person] be justified in his [God’s] sight" (3:20). So, every person who is unredeemed by Christ is under the curse or condemnation of the law. Cursed by our own violations of God’s moral law-this is our spiritual state apart from redemption in Christ. The law cannot redeem us; it exposes the fact we are sinners and makes us aware of our need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24).
We are redeemed from the curse of the law, the condemnation for our sins, by faith in Jesus Christ. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
For what the law could not do [that is, redeem man from sin], in that it was weak through the flesh [the weakness of the law was that sinful man breaks God’s law], God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh [as a man], and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh [condemned sin by his own holy life and death in a human body]: That the righteousness of the law [perfect obedience to God’s law] might be fulfilled [realized, made a fact by the imputation and impartation of Christ’s righteousness] in us, who walk not after the flesh [the sinful nature], but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1, 3, 4).
CHRIST WAS MADE A CURSE FOR US
Jesus Christ was not cursed because He was hanged upon the Cross. He was hanged upon the Cross because He was cursed by the law for bearing our sins. The statement, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13) is quoted from the passage in Deuteronomy 21:23. In ancient Israel, people were not killed by crucifixion, but the dead bodies of those executed for some capital offense were exposed upon trees or crosses as a sign of the curse of God which was upon them for their sin - "for he that is hanged is accursed of God" (v.23).
The fact that Jesus was crucified, hanged upon a tree, was an indication of the curse upon Him for our sins. The Prophet Isaiah understood that men would regard Jesus Christ as being cursed of God for sin. Isaiah prophesied,
"Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions [our violations of God’s law]" (Isaiah 53:4, 5).
The language of the New ’Testament, describing what happened when Jesus was made a curse for us, is very strong and mysterious. The Bible says, "For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, [Christ] who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [in Christ]" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The language is strong in that God made Christ to be sin for us. That is, when Christ died for our sins upon the Cross, all the sin of the human race was brought together in the person of Christ. There, God was able to judge all sin for all time by regarding His Son as the representative of all sinners.