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Removing The Curse

Galatians 3:13-14
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (NIVUK)

Law, by its very nature, is designed to curse those who break it.  The curse is simply a promise that bad things will happen to law-breakers (Deuteronomy 27:26).  Although laws are designed for the good of society, and in that sense they hold the promise of good things in which each individual may benefit, people are never rewarded for keeping laws - they only have the promise of penalties when they disobey.  Promised penalties are called curses. They are the weight of the law and the curse is activated when the law is disobeyed.  Once guilt is proved, the curse of the law will be expressed.
The same is true with God’s law in the Old Testament.  When people broke God’s law, a curse hung over them until the penalty was paid.  In Deuteronomy 21:23, God set a curse on anyone who was hung on a wooden pole.  That is what happened to Jesus.  He chose to accept the curse for us, and allowed all of God’s penalties to fall on Him instead of us (1 Peter 2:24).  Of course, the final judgement has not yet taken place, and so the punishment of the human race has not yet happened.  But the curse (God’s promise of punishment) is over everyone now.  That curse can only be lifted when the penalty has been paid.

Much human heart-heaviness is due to this curse which applies to all sin.  By His Spirit, God uses that sense of heavy guilt to draw people to Jesus (John 16:8), whose sacrifice has the power to atone for their sin.  When sinful people believe in Jesus, they know that their sins are paid for, and the curse is lifted – allowing them to enjoy the promised blessing of the Spirit’s presence. This is a real relief and liberation. People who have been burdened by the weight of God’s curse over their sin can be released and re-enlivened by the Spirit as they trust in what Jesus has done for them.

That transformation from being under God’s curse to being under God’s blessing is real – it is being born again; it is becoming a new creation.  The power of Christ to free people from the guilty weight of their sinfulness and the curse which attaches to it is real and truly liberating.  Tell this good news to all who are bowed down with any curse, and pray that Jesus will set them free as they come to Him in faith.

Gracious God. Thank You that the curses for all my sins were accepted by Jesus when He died for me. Forgive me when I treat sin lightly, not recognising the curse it carries, nor the pain to my Saviour of suffering for me. Please help me to rejoice in sins forgiven and the freedom of life in the Spirit now that the curse is lifted through Jesus. May I be bold to communicate this good news to my friends and colleagues who are burdened under the curse of their sin. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams