If there is anything that a Christian should have a firm grasp on, it’s the gospel. Now, when I say “gospel” what do you think I mean by that? We might say that the totality of scripture is the gospel since they are that which testify of Jesus (John 5:39, Luke 24:25-27). But more specifically, we might say that the gospel is the entire storyline and theology of God’s redemptive work on behalf of sinners. That is the way I mean it here.
The truth I want to dwell on for a few minutes is the fact that Jesus became cursed for us.
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—” (Galatians 3:13 ESV)
We know that when we fell in Adam in Genesis 3, we were, in a sense, cursed with all of creation. That means we were and are condemned through our inherited sin nature, as well as by our own personal sins. This means that apart from Christ we will have God’s wrath heaped upon our heads in judgement forever when this life ends because the Just Judge will always do right and that means punishing all evil. It is not the character of a Just Judge to let evil go unpunished. That concept is true of any human judge and therefore certainly true of the Judge of all Judges. Let’s think about this: when Jesus secured our salvation on the tree of Calvary, He became a curse in our place. The very Son of God was cursed by His father in utter disgust and judgment of sins which we perpetrated! The first person of the Divine Trinity placing a curse upon the second Person of the Divine Trinity – Amazing! The Father looked down from Heaven upon His only begotten Son and saw the vile, filthy sins committed by a wicked people and pronounced Him cursed. Instead of us being cursed and permanently separated from God to suffer eternal torment, He was cursed on our behalf and was separated from His Father. He was treated by God as if He had committed every wicked and heinous sin we can think of. We get used to thinking of God the Father as always approving what His perfect Son did, and rightly so because Jesus always did the will of His Father, but in this incomprehensible moment, the Father looked down on His Son and treated Him as a corrupt, depraved, foul, immoral sinner who had no regard for God’s law at all. The Creator became cursed so that we might be eternally blessed. The One guilty of no sin, took our sin upon Himself and was cursed in His people’s stead and He drank down the full cup of God’s holy wrath down to the last drop so that there is none left for us to bear. In a matter of a few hours, Jesus Christ endured the entire amount of the terrible and fierce wrath of God that you and I would have faced throughout all eternity for our sins. Lets thank God for taking our curse upon Himself and heaping undeserved blessings upon us instead.
Do you understand God’s justice at the cross in this light?