“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”
~ Galatians 3:10-14
The hopeless state of man is very capably laid out throughout Scripture: every man is a sinner deserving death (Romans 3:23, 6:23), there’s nothing good in man (Romans 7:18) and we are in a without hope in ourselves (Ephesians 2:12). Here in Galatians 3 we can see that man constantly fails to live according to God’s law. To the man who fails to keep the entirety of God’s law, he is utterly cursed.
The good news of God’s gospel comes in the fact of Christ becoming so much for man. First He becomes sin so that we might not bear the guilt of it.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21
In coming to this world, Christ takes on the guilt of our sin that we might have the righteousness of God in Him. Yet, there’s more to guilt than just a feeling – there’s consequence. That’s the second thing that Christ becomes: He becomes a curse for us.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” ~ 1 John 4:9-10
Christ becomes a curse for man by being the propitiation for our sins. He comes to this earth so that He may be the spotless lamb of sacrifice. By being the perfect Son, He capably fills the role a the perfect wrath-absorbing sacrifice for all who trust in Him.
That’s the remarkable beauty of the gospel – grace is there for all who have faith. By resting in Christ, we are being added into the promise that God gave Abraham ages ago. We taste the blessing God gave Abraham because of Christ alone.
His substitution of Christ for man is something that we faintly imagine but is something that we must wholeheartedly celebrate. For man to grasp grace, Christ tasted affliction. But thanks be to God, that Christ died that we may be righteous! Praise God that He was raised that we may have life!
Take time to thank God that Christ took the wrath I deserved that I might have a grace that I do not deserve.