“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)…”
Paul now turns to hope. Our hope is in the death of Christ to take our curse for us. Our hope is not in keeping the law.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law,
The word “redeem” means to buy up. The Greek word here means to buy a slave out of the marketplace. Roman citizens bought slaves out of the slave market by paying a ransom. It cost them something. The price they paid liberated the slave. Jesus’ death liberated us from the curse that the law put on us by paying a sufficient price for our sin–His death on the cross.
The word “redeemed” is intense in Greek. It means to purchase out of the slave market never to be put up for sale again. “Redeem” comes from two words: to buy and out. Jesus bought us out of the slave market permanently.
having become a curse
Christ became something He was not before–a curse. God placed our curse on Him. He took our hell that we might have His heaven. Jesus stood as a curse between us and the law. If Jesus could not escape the curse of God, how can we expect to escape God’s curse by our works?
When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” God was making Him a curse.
Jesus stood as a curse in our place. The word “for” is substitutionary. Jesus became the substitute for taking us, the penalty for our sin.
(for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’),
This is a quotation from Deuteronomy 21:23. In the Old Testament, they had the custom of taking the dead body of a criminal stoned to death and hanging it on a tree. This is a picture of a cursed individual. Jesus’ death on the cross represents the public death of a cursed person. What a picture of the spotless Son of God!
“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
Christ did not remain a curse in God’s eyes. He was a curse only while He died on the cross.
Jesus took our hell that we might have His heaven.
Our way out from the curse of the law is through accepting God’s curse on Jesus Christ through the cross. God demands righteousness from us that is equivalent to His own righteousness. None of us can live up to that standard. Jesus paid for every sin that we ever committed on the cross and gave us His righteousness. That is why we love Him.
“…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 3:24).
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).