“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 for those who fail to live up to the law. Our confidence rests in the death of Christ to take our curse for us. Our hope does not lean on keeping the law.
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law,
The Greek word “redeem” means to buy up or to buy out. The word here means to buy a slave out of the marketplace. “Redeemed” is intense, conveying the thought of purchasing out of the slave market, never to be put up for sale again. Jesus bought us out of the slave market permanently.
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 freed us from the curse of the law by paying a sufficient price for our sins–His death on the cross.
having become a curse
Christ became something He was not before–a “curse.” God placed our curse on Him. He took our hell so 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 through doing works?
When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” God the Father put a curse on Him.
Jesus stood as a curse in our place. The word “for” is substitutionary. Jesus became our substitute by taking the penalty for the sins we committed.
(for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’),
This is a quotation from Deuteronomy 21:23. In the Old Testament, there was 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 an image 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 so 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 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).