Christ Was Cursed

No one longs to be cursed before God. We want His blessing, His favor. Yet unless we continually obey everything in the law and never falter at one point (James 2:10), we are guilty of violating all the law. And because of our sinfulness, we were cursed before God. But the scandalously good news is that Christ was cursed for us to remove the curse from us.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed [Galatians 3:13].

In the Old Testament, criminals were usually killed by stoning, and then their bodies were hung on a tree to display their condemnation—to show everyone that they were cursed.

At the perfect time in history, after crucifixion had been invented by the Romans, Jesus came here to be placed on a tree, to be crucified on a cross. He was spit on, flogged, mocked, and treated as a disgusting criminal. He became a curse for us. He was not merely cursed, as people curse Him today. He was cursed by God for us. On the cross, He took the sins of the entire world upon Himself. He bore in His body the disgusting sins of His people. All evil was placed on Him. He became the porn addict, the child molester, the terrorist, the workaholic dad, the alcoholic, the adulterer, the man who cheats on his taxes, the religious hypocrite, and the thief. He became our curse for us. Jesus did not experience the blessing of the Father on the cross. Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He was cursed so that we might be blessed.

Martin Luther, in his exposition of Galatians, wrote that Jesus became the worst sinner imaginable, “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.

All our sins are on Him. We go free!