Jesus cursed for you
Paul repeated many of the primary truths to the Galatians, because they listened to other people so easily and eventually invalidated Jesus’ death on the cross. They relapsed and said that the law was the only way in which you could get to God.
When you live under the law only, you live in fear all the time. I’m always afraid of crossing the boundaries of the law. The sword of the law hangs over my head wherever I go, because I know – step one millimetre over that boundary and it’s tickets for me. The sword falls, I’m found guilty, and it’s over for me. Transgressing one rule of the law means punishment by God: 10And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.”
If you believe that you will only get to heaven by keeping strictly to the letter of the law, grace disappears. Then it’s all about me and how well I can adhere to the law that will determine whether or not I can go to heaven. It’s all about your works, what you do. The harder I work, the better my chances of getting to heaven. 12Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping … And, if like me, you’re just a normal person, you know that you simply cannot do it on your own. Sometimes you lose your temper and let go with a word or ten that goes against every inch of the law. Then we’re accused of breaking the law and we’re guilty once again. And the punishment prescribed by the law is death.
However, Jesus came to turn this around. He took away the consequences of us breaking the law. He took away what we had to do and did it in our place: 13Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse …
Jesus took from us the curse, the punishment, the death that we deserved for all the things we do, and took it upon Himself. But He had to pay a price. He had to be cursed by God. He took the cursed road that we should have walked for breaking the law for us.
Do I really understand what Jesus did for me on the cross?
And that is why it is so important that we should not start collecting laws again to make sure that we can be allowed into heaven. Nothing that we do can ensure our place in heaven more than our faith that it is so. Jesus had done that work already.
Remember: 14And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it.
This is the good news. As a result of Jesus’ death we not only get to share in God’s blessings, but we also receive the Spirit of God. How fortunate can you be! Just remember to believe that Jesus took our punishment. Remember that He has given a new perspective on the law and has taken the sting from the law.
Go and live a free life with the Spirit inside you. Go and enjoy life and show others that this is the only way to real freedom.
Is faith enough?
Do you experience God’s blessings?
Are you following the Spirit?
Father, I know it’s so easy to put laws in place again and to believe that that is the way to get permission to enter heaven. Yes, I know we have to do everything possible to do your will, but I know my many shortcomings. I know I will fail and then I need Jesus to die in my place. Thank you, Jesus, that You bore God’s curse on the cross for me. Thank you for the bonus that is the Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us. You are a wonderful God! Amen