Monday, July 19, 2010

I Cursed Christ - Galatians 3:13

"Christ redeemed us 
from the curse of the Law,
having become a curse 
for us -for it is written,
'Cursed is everyone 
who hangs on a tree.'"
(Galatians 3:13)

Sometimes I tend to just "poo poo" my sins away - thinking of them simply as slight slip ups, minimal mistakes, and average accidents. "Oh, this is really no big deal. What's it really matter? What'll it really cost?"

If, like me, you've ever thought that sin is just really "no big deal" then let this note help us think again.

You know, my sin and your sin cost Christ His life. Jesus came and "gave Himself for our sins." He "delivered Himself up for me." That folks is a big deal- a BIG big deal. Our sins killed Christ!

OK -'nuff said? 
Nope!  Not nearly enough!

Even greater to me, is what this passage in Galatians says was attached to that death - a curse. Not only did Jesus die for me, He became a curse for me!! In reality, my sin cursed Christ - and yours did too! Christ was damned in my place that I might not be!! Beloved let it sink in for that is the biggest of big deals!!!

We often think of Christ in His exaltation - and we need to. He's the Son of God, the righteous and holy One, the omniscient and omnipotent miracle worker. He stills the storm. He raises the dead. He disperses demons. He is God incarnate.

However, we also need to pause and consider Christ in His humiliation. He became a curse for us! "He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; and bore the sins of many" (Isaiah 53:12).

The Lion of Judah became the Lamb who was slain. That spotless Lamb took our spots upon Himself. He was defiled by our defilement. To be blunt - He was covered in our crap!

The "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" took it away by taking it upon Himself. He became our scapegoat. He bore our sins - no, even bigger than that - he BECAME our sins!!Friends - sin is a big deal and salvation from sins is an even bigger deal!!

Still not convinced? Listen to Luther:

"Christ became the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, blasphemer that ever was or ever could be on earth. When He took the sins of the whole world upon Himself, Christ was no longer an innocent person. He was a sinner burdened with the sins of a Paul who was a blasphemer; burdened with the sins of a Peter who denied Christ; burdened with the sins of a David who committed adultery and murder. This gave the heathen occasion to laugh at the Lord on Calvary's cross.
In short, Christ was charged with the sins of all men, that He should pay for them with His own blood. The curse struck Him. The Law found Him among sinners. He was not only in the company of sinners. He had gone so far as to invest Himself with the flesh and blood of sinners."
Having gone so far as to "invest Himself with the flesh and blood of sinners" Jesus went even farther and died for sinners - He died for me!

Luther continues:
"Our merciful Father in heaven saw how the Law oppressed us and how impossible it was for us to get out from under the curse of the Law. He therefore sent His only Son into the world and said to Him: "You are now Peter, the liar; Paul, the persecutor; David, the adulterer; Adam, the disobedient; the thief on the cross. You, My Son, must pay the world's iniquity." The Law growls: "All right. If Your Son is taking the sin of the world, I see no sins anywhere else but in Him. He shall die on the Cross." And the Law kills Christ. But we go free. "
Dear reader, this is the good news of the gospel! "The law kills Christ, but we go free!"

This is the picture of just how pernicious our sin is and it is the portrait of just how precious our Savior is. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us."

"God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Christ was made the curse that He might become the cure!

This truth should have a two-edged effect upon our hearts. Our hearts should be heavy with the realized weight of our sin - my sin cursed Christ and is therefore an eternally big deal!! However, this truth should also make our hearts overflow with joyful freedom - my curse became His curse and I bear it no more!!

"My sin - O the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!" (Horatio Spafford, 1873)

Oh beloved - this is the great exchange! Christ took our sins upon Himself and placed His righteousness upon us.

Has the grandest of all transactions taken place in your life? It can if you will by grace, through faith believe on this One - this Jesus Christ the Son of God - who became the curse to redeem you from it!

In His glorious grace,

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