Sunday, May 11, 2014
May 11: Freed from the curse
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. (Galatians 3:13,14 NET)
The quote from the Old Testament in the middle of this passage reveals that Jesus crucifixion was not only a painful, humiliating, torturous death, but according to the words from God’s own mouth, it cursed Him. This was no mistake. From the very beginning of the world the Father knew that Jesus’ death would be necessary, that it would have to be a complete sacrifice — removing sin, sicknesses, and curses. Though crucifixion was a common practice among the Romans, Jesus’ crucifixion is the only crucifixion mentioned in the Bible, and is a crucial part of the Gospel. Throughout the New Testament we are reminded of His manner of death as proof of His immeasurable love, and of the fact that He became a curse in our place.
If you feel cursed — because of circumstances, witchcraft, or someone’s threats — you now have the authority to declare it broken and ineffective. When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, curses no longer have power over us, as long as we use our faith to cast them out. It’s not automatic, putting faith into practice is what makes it a reality.
But today’s verse speaks about another curse that we are freed from, the curse of the law. Before the Lord Jesus came into the world, throughout the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded to follow the law of Moses perfectly to be saved and accepted by God. Anyone who didn’t do everything written in the law was cursed and lost, and clearly, no one could follow the law perfectly. But now, through Jesus, we are saved through faith in Him, trusting in the unmerited grace of God. Though our belief in God has to be followed with obedience, we are not saved by the things we do. We are saved when we accept the free gift of God by faith. Obviously, real faith involves works, but it is not the works that save us.
Each one of us should be deeply grateful to God for our salvation, because we don’t deserve it, and will never deserve it. On the other hand, we can know that our salvation is guaranteed because we have faith in Him and have accepted His amazing sacrifice on the cross.