KEY SCRIPTURE Galatians 3:11-14
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
APPLICATION This year is my 67th on the earth. I am exactly twice the age of my Saviour when he voluntarily died at the young age of thirty-three and a half years for my sins. As we remember the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, let us not forget our Saviour's death.
Today's key verse says that Christ became a curse for us. I don't know what that means in reality—as an experience, I mean. Isaiah 53:4 provides some images to help us understand. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
God calls us to bear each others burdens, and to a degree, we can. But Christ bore all our griefs and sorrows. Think about the griefs and sorrows you have endured so far in life. What toll did they have on you at the time? Now add a death sentence?
It isn't easy to imagine a voluntary accursedness—the depth of rejection despised by others and not wanted in any circle. Leprous.
As I went for my morning walk, I thought of Christ on the Cross. Despised and ridiculed by most, but loved and cherished by a few. A rotten apple thrown into the compost remains useful despite being cursed. There was Jesus, beaten to a pulp, cursed under the law, hanging by the robustness of his bones and ligaments. But in that despised and battered state, on that cross of distress and torment, soon to breathe his last, Jesus was still blessing.
He transferred the responsibility of looking after His Mother's spiritual and natural welfare to John.
How did Jesus feel at the time?
How did he make John feel?
How did it make Mary feel?
He also received the last-minute believer on the cross to join Him personally in Paradise.
How did Jesus feel about that?
How do you think the thief felt?
We are called to follow Jesus and be joint heirs with Him, and some of our experiences will be similar. But one experience we will never have is the spiritual and emotional agony He endured on our behalf, just to open the way forward.
Upon that last gasp and the giving up of the spirit, an unimaginable freedom came to the world. The resurrection of Jesus Christ opened the door to the wonders and joy of the spiritual life. Praise God for Him. The world hardly acknowledges the action that changes lives forever, but we cannot forget it.
My dear Lord, thank you again for reminding me of what your Son did on that brutal Cross. Salvation is my joy, yet it came through so much pain for Jesus. How could I forget.
Photo by Gift Habeshaw.