The Curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13) - Radical

The Curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)

“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

This verse is one of the most powerful pictures, images, that we see in the Bible when it comes to our salvation. The reality is the law condemns us. God’s law condemns us, because it makes clear that we are sinners. Even our most concentrated attempts, our most wholehearted attempts, to obey the law come up short.

We can’t obey God’s law that he’s written on our hearts, that he’s given us in his Word. We constantly fall short, and as a result, we stand before God guilty as law breakers. Every single one of us, guilty as a law breaker before a holy God. Therefore, we deserve his judgment. He is just. Our God is just, and his justice demands that we be found guilty before him.

The law condemns us, but Jesus chose to take the curse of the law upon Himself in our place.

Yet the beauty of Galatians 3:13 is that Christ has not left us alone under the curse of the law to experience the just judgment and wrath of God. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Verse 13 says … how did he do that? By becoming a curse for us. Christ chose, Jesus chose, to take the curse of the law upon himself in our place. Just as it is written, cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.

Galatians 3:13 Reminds Us of Jesus’ Sacrifice

When Jesus went to the cross, he was choosing to endure the judgment we deserve as law breakers before a holy God in our place. He had not broken any law, and yet he stood in the place of law breakers and went to the cross as a curse for us so that we could come out on the other side, by faith in him … This is what the rest of the chapter goes on to talk about. That through faith in him, we can be saved from the curse of sin. Not based on anything we do, but based solely on faith in him. So Christian, rejoice today. Just remember today, that you were once under the curse of the law. But Christ became a curse for you so that you could be saved.

Galatians 3:13 Praises Jesus for Baring Our Sin

Oh God, we praise you for pouring out the judgment we deserve upon Jesus in our place. We praise you today, and we will praise you everyday for all of eternity for this. Jesus we praise you for becoming a curse for us. We praise you for becoming a curse for sinners all over the world, and all throughout history, like us, so that your blessing, not your curse, might be a reality in our lives forever.

Thank you for this. And God, we know, we’re surrounded by people today who are under the curse of the law. Who are law breakers. Who are guilty before you. We’re surrounded by people in our sphere of influence, surrounded people all around the world, who are under the curse of the sin and death. Who are guilty before you, and we want them to know what it means to be free. What it means to be redeemed. What it means to be under your blessing, not your curse.

So God help us to proclaim this good news to people around us today. We pray for that. Lord, help us to be sensitive to opportunities today to share this good news. Help us to be bold, and compassionate, and humble, and clear in sharing this good news with other people. We pray that you would use our lives to spread the good news of redemption from the curse of sin and death. Spread the good news. Use our lives, we pray this. Spread the good news of your blessing upon sinners. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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