Cursed is Every One – Deu 27:26 declares that the whole mankind is cursed: “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them …” and also reiterated in Jer 11:3 and Gal 3:10. To be “under the curse” is to be under the Law of God; and the Law of God can only bring judgment, as Rom 4:15 instructs: “Because the law worketh wrath …” . What this means in simple terms is that man is under obligation to obey everything in the Bible perfectly or suffer the consequences, which is to be cast into Hell forever. That is what is in view in the phrase, “… cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal 3:10). Since “… whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”, it should be abundantly obvious that nobody can do this because it would require perfection on our part. Since God originally created mankind in His image, God cannot accept anything less than perfection given His perfect, holy, and righteous character. Hence we all stand guilty and condemned before the Judge of the whole earth, as we are so painfully reminded of in Rom 3:19. However, because mankind in general cannot possibly carry out God’s commands, neither can man keep God’s Law, so, the next logical question is, “Why then the Law?”. The Law is a representation of God’s righteousness and an indication of His very nature. We see from Gal 3:29, that God’s Law is intended to be a “schoolmaster” to expose and teach us about our sin and our desperate need for a Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ, whom Jehovah-Jireh has graciously provided as “the lamb of God”.
Gal 3:10 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”
Rom 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Gal 3:19-24 “Wherefore [Why] then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore [Therefore] the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
- Christ hath Redeemed Us from the Curse, being Made a Curse for Us – I would like us to now look at this phrase found in Gal 3:13, “… Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree…”. In Deu 21, notice verse 22 says, “… if a man have committed a sin worthy of death…” have to be “put to death”. In the eyes of God, every sin is “worthy of death” – eternal death – and is sufficient to send anyone to Hell forever (as we have just learned from Jam 2:10). So, we can begin to understand that the Lord Jesus – Who was absolutely sinless – became sin and cursed – was put to eternal death, for those He came to redeem: “Who his own self bare our sins in his [Lord Jesus Christ] own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Pet 2:24). The “healing” that the Bible is concerned with is the spiritual healing of our sin-sick souls (graphically portrayed in Isa 1:5-6), which only the Great Physician can cure. I cannot emphasize enough that the Lord Jesus Christ had to become sin – He had to become cursed – in order to pay the punishment that the Law of God, the Bible, demands – eternal damnation in Hell. Think about this: God the Son, Who is perfectly holy, harmless [innocent], and undefiled, became unholy, guilty, and defiled in paying for the sins of each born-again Christian. Thus, God was forsaking God at the Cross! God was cursing God! God was punishing God in Hell!
Deu 21:22-23 “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God😉 that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
Gal 4:4-5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
Gal 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”
2 Cor 5:21 “For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Rev 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [Kingdom of Christ]; and his servants shall serve him.”
- Despising the Shame of the Cross – Christ’s death was foretold in Scripture hundreds and even thousands of years before it took place. In order to accomplish His divine mission, the Lamb “slain from [before] the foundation of the world” (as we read in Rev 13:8) had one day to become a man, this in itself is humbling for eternal, infinite God, and then to allow Himself to be betrayed by one of his disciples, captured, humiliated, beaten, and crucified. Part of the shame that Christ had to endure was physical in nature, yet this could not compare with the spiritual agony He had to undergo. A number of Messianic Psalms as well as other passages find their fulfillment in the various gospel accounts of the Crucifixion. One of these is Psalm 69 in its entirety. Let’s look at just verse 19 for now: “Thou hast known my [Lord Jesus Christ] reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee”. In addition to the mental and emotional abuses of ridicule, scorn, and hatred to which the Lord Jesus was subjected, there were the physical abuses of spitting, flogging, slapping, and then the unbearable rigors of the actual crucifixion, which was one of the most torturous methods of execution to be imposed on a human being. However, there is yet another degradation that the Lord Jesus had to face. He hung naked on the cross as a shameful spectacle for all to see. In the beginning both Adam and Eve were physically naked; and, just like all things that God had created, it was “very good”. It was only after they sinned, that this became a problem, since it revealed the shameful spiritual condition they had foolishly brought upon themselves by disobeying God. This sad account is found in Gen 3. The physical nakedness of Adam and Eve served to expose their spiritual nakedness – a frightful analogy to being under the judgment of God and eternal damnation in Hell. The anguish that epitomizes the essence of Hell is expressed in the Savior’s cry from the Cross in Mark 15:34: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”. Secondly, Christ also had to become something that is absolutely contrary to His perfect, holy, sinless, nature – He had to become sin and curse, as we read in 2 Cor 5:21: “For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”. Isa 53:3-5 depicts the greatest spiritual shame that only God the Son could possibly endure. Christ sacrificed Himself upon the “altar of God” with exceeding joy. Php 2:8 helps us to understand and remember the purpose of the Cross: “… for the joy that was set before him …” that the Lord Jesus by both “enduring the cross” and “despising the shame” have conquered sin, Hell, and Satan. Thus Jesus Christ has become “the author and finisher of our faith” and then took His rightful seat in Heaven as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”.
Psa 109:25 [Messianic] “I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.”
Job 16:10 [Messianic] “They have gaped upon me [Job as picture of Christ] with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.”
Mat 12:40 “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Jon 2:2 “And said, I [Jonah as picture of Christ] cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”
Isa 53:3-5 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Php 2:8 “And being found in fashion as a man, he [Lord Jesus Christ] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- The Glory of the Cross – Why did Paul, under divine inspiration, say that the only thing he could boast about, or “glory in”, is the Cross of Christ in Gal 6:14? And what does the Cross of Christ represent? Without question it is an instrument of death – but the death in view is eternal death – the death of soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28). In another words, what is supremely important about the Cross of Christ is that He suffered the spiritual equivalent of eternal death in Hell for those He came to save. His death was the means that God decreed to reconcile every Christian to the Father. The Cross strips away the unbiblical notion that man plays any part in God’s salvation plan because man is spiritually dead, as we learn from Eph 2:1-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”. Heb 2:14 declares, “… that through death he [Christ] might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. What is the meaning of “… the world is crucified unto me…” found in Gal 6:14? We know that to be crucified is to be put to death. But how is the “world crucified” to Paul – or any other believer for that matter? Gal 2:20 speaks about this very issue. Prior to salvation, God’s elect are “wicked” with worldly lusts, just like the rest of the world that is under the spiritual dominion of Satan. Christ’s death on the cross served to free the true believers from their bondage to sin, the world, and Satan and 2 Pet 1:4 also highlights God’s grace in saving His people: “ … ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”. Not only setting us free from “second death” but “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. When God delivers them from the power of darkness, and translates them into the kingdom of his dear Son, the new believer goes from being a slave of sin to being a slave of righteousness, or a slave (servant) of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:18). We will now consider next the phrase, “… and I unto the world …” found in Gal 6:14. How is the true child of God crucified to the world? After God takes His people out of Satan’s kingdom through salvation, the world hates them, as stated in John 15:19: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you”. As we have just noted, the world is characterized by slavery to sin and to Satan – the spiritual father of all who are unsaved. The Christian, by God’s grace, has been set free from that bondage as we learn from Isa 61:1. The phrase “… and I unto the world …” can also be understood in the light of the Great Commission. The believer recognizes that God has saved him from slavery to sin and to Satan to serve Christ – that is, to be a witness to those around him who remain prisoners in Satan’s kingdom. They are to be Ambassadors for Christ in the world to fulfill the words of 2 Cor 5:19-20.
Eph 2:1-10 “And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation [or lifestyle] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Gal 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory [boast], save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Isa 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me [Jesus Christ] to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
John 17:18 “As thou hast sent me [Jesus Christ] into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
2 Cor 5:19-20 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.