Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Vision (4/25/13): Being Made a Curse For Us

Note: I preached Sunday from Galatians 3:6-15.  Here are some notes from the exposition of Galatians 3:13:


“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).


Notice first the language of redemption or ransom (“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us….”).  The verb for “to redeem” in Greek is exagorazo, which literally means “to take off or away from the market [agora].”  In the ancient world, prisoners of war could be redeemed or ransomed from their captors by the exchange of money.  Slaves could also purchase or redeem their freedom by paying the right price.


Notice also the concept of substitution.  We were under the curse of the law which is the wrath of God for our sin (refer back to the citation from Deut 27:26 in Galatians 3:10).  But the Lord Jesus stepped into our place and was made a curse for us.  The just stood in the place of the unjust.


Where was Jesus made a curse for us?  It was on the cross.  That is made clear in v. 13 as Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23:  “Cursed is every one that hangeth from a tree.”  The ancient Hebrews did not know about crucifixion.  That would only come later with the Persians and then the Romans.  The passage probably speaks about the practice of hanging or impaling the bodies of criminals to posts or trees. Paul and the first Christians saw in this passage a hidden or veiled reference to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  There he took on our curse; he was shamed; he was mocked; he was denounced; he bore the wrath and indignation of God that we deserved.


One of the reports from the Boston massacre bombing I heard was about a father who when the bomb went off immediately threw himself upon his two children to shield them from any harm.  The message of the cross is that when Jesus suffered and died he overshadowed his saints and took upon himself the curse that was due to us for our disobedience.  God has demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.


Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff

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