13 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”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
When we think of the crucifixion of Jesus and how he was in such distress in the garden leading up to His arrest, it is easy to assume that His stress was related to the physical suffering He anticipated. While this is undoubtedly a safe assumption, there is much more to Christ’s anticipation and agonizing prayer. He knew that not only would He suffer physically, but also that He was going to take upon Himself the curse of the law.
Jesus is God’s perfect Son, yet He willingly became a curse for us. He didn’t just take the consequences of the curse upon Himself; today’s passage says that He actually became a curse for us. I encourage you to read Deuteronomy chapter 28. There you will see the blessings and curses that come from following or failing to follow the law of Moses. While the blessings listed are beautiful, it is interesting to note that the majority of the chapter details the curses. While there are many specific curses, Paul summarizes them in the singular – “the curse of the law.” Jesus became that.
God’s amazing grace, the unmerited favor that we have through Jesus, is available because Jesus became the curse for us. When we choose to follow the law and go back to the system of being cursed for failing, we are saying that Jesus becoming the curse for us wasn’t enough. When we desire to see others punished because of their failures, we do so forgetting that we deserve the curse equally. Yet if Jesus became that for us, then He became that for everyone. Braving grace includes extending it boldly to others.
Today’s passage goes on to say that because Jesus became the curse for us, we now are able to receive the promise of the Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us because Jesus became the curse. If we aren’t able to receive grace, if we insist on the law and religion, then where does that leave us with regard to the Spirit? He is available because Jesus took the curse of the law.
God told Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. We have access to the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, to all of the blessings of the family of Abraham, and every promise of God, all because Jesus became a curse for us. You aren’t cursed. Brave grace today and receive the promise by faith.